- The Zondo commission has postponed the testimonies of three people scheduled to appear on Thursday.
- One of the witnesses asked for a postponement, saying he was not provided with a recording which he asked for in September 2019.
- Another witness, Captain Edward Zuma, had indicated to the commission's evidence leader that a relative contracted Covid-19.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has emphasised the time pressure the state capture inquiry was under, following delays in the testimony of three people scheduled to testify on Thursday.
"We don't have much time as a commission," said Zondo, the inquiry chairperson.
The first witness, Colonel Welcome S Mhlongo, who was implicated in the testimony of former National Prosecuting Authority head Mxolisi Nxasana and KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johann Booysen in corruption, asked the commission for a postponement.
Mohlongo's legal representative told Zondo that his client asked for a recording in September 2019, however, the commission had not given it to him.
However, Zondo was seemingly not impressed with this revelation.
"Mhlongo seeks a postponement because despite having asked for the recording many months ago, that was not given to him. So, that's why I want to know why that was not done because we are now faced with a situation where there must be a postponement and yet already last year he had indicated that he needed this.
"It has been nine months. Why did the commission not make sure he did not get this on time? Zondo asked.
The commission team revealed they did not have the recording in their possession, but managed to listen to it.
"We don't have much time as a commission and the first people who must make sure we use all the time we have are ourselves as the commission," Zondo said.
"The legal team has got to make sure that these things are looked at long in advance. I've always said that the investigations must be guided and directed by the legal team which means I'm not going to blame the investigators," Zondo said.
Another witness who failed to appear is Captain Edward Zuma, a retired member of the Hawks.
Evidence leader advocate William Nicholson said he spoke to Zuma about three weeks ago, who indicated to him that he went to get tested for Covid-19.
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"He conveyed to me that somebody in his house contracted Covid-19. He is displaying all the symptoms and he went for all the tests. Last week when I got hold of him, he still had not [received] his test results. I have been trying to get hold of him this entire week and I can't get hold of him. The issue is that he is now retired so we can only call him on his cellphone. He doesn't even an email,” Nicholson said.
The third witness, Terrence Joubert - who was a NPA risk specialist - also could not testify due to conflicting affidavits.
His attorney has also withdrawn.
A new date will be set for the witnesses to appear.