State capture inquiry: Testimony of Linda Mti, Magistrate Desmond Nair postponed

The state capture commission of inquiry resumed in late June after being halted as a result of Covid-19.
The state capture commission of inquiry resumed in late June after being halted as a result of Covid-19.
Deaan Vivier, Gallo Images
  • Both former correctional services boss Linda Mti and Pretoria Magistrate Desmond Nair were due to appear before the state capture commission.
  • The two only received their notices to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on 10 July.
  • Nair's lawyer said his client was ready to go ahead until they were told he still had to be given a number of statements.

The chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo had to postpone the appearance of both former correctional services boss Linda Mti and Pretoria Magistrate Desmond Nair after it emerged that the commission only served the two with notices to appear over a week ago.

Mti's lawyer, Schalk van der Merwe, told the commission his client received a notice to appear on 10 July.

However, after an agreement with Mti's lawyer, evidence leader Advocate Viwe Notshe said the commission would identify a full set of witnesses who implicated Mti and, therefore, he would have to access the information on the commission's website.

Mti would then submit an affidavit to the commission regarding the allegations levelled against him.

Van der Merwe said Mti may reserve his rights in disclosing his defence to the criminal matter which is currently before the courts.

Mti has been charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court, along with former Bosasa operations chief Angelo Agrizzi, ex-Bosasa executive Andries van Tonder, senior Bosasa official Frans Voster, current Bosasa employee Carlos Bonifacio and former correctional services CFO Patrick Gillingham.

READ | Agrizzi, co-accused appear before the Specialised Commercial Crime Court

Meanwhile, not only did Nair receive his notice to appear on 10 July, there were still some statements implicating him that he had not seen.

His lawyer, Dani Dorfling SC, told the commission his client was ready to proceed but they were only informed on Tuesday morning that further statements were still forthcoming.

OPINION | We need value for money from costly inquiries

"We were also informed that there is a potential further statement from Mr [Richard] Le Roux.

"The discomfort we have is the fact that we are being confronted as we go along with new and further facts that need to be dealt with. It is not a fair process for an implicated person to be confronted with evidence, preparing himself to respond and then be confronted with further evidence.

"We propose that it be done in one go and everything gets presented to Mr Nair. That he deals with it sensibly, consider it all and make his election on the way forward."

Earlier this year, Nair was provisionally suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation into his fitness to hold office.

He was suspended after he was charged with two counts of misconduct in November 2019 following a preliminary investigation by the justice ministry.

READ | Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo: 'We need something quite drastic to stop corruption'

Last year, Le Roux, a former Bosasa employee who testified before the Zondo commission, alleged that Nair accepted the installation of R200 000 worth of security systems at his Pretoria home, including a full electric fence, CCTV and alarm systems, News24 reported earlier.

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