Guptas declined right to cross-examine witnesses

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Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, has made it clear that the commission is not prepared to give the Gupta brothers any special treatment. He says the Gupta brothers have neither a lawful nor a valid reason for not being able to physically appear before the commission.

Justice Zondo dismissed Ajay and Rajesh Gupta’s application for leave to cross-examine witnesses that have implicated them at the commission, which is sitting in Parktown, Johannesburg. The pair had applied to cross-examine former Deputy Finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former ANC member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor and former GCIS head, Themba Maseko.

The Gupta brothers told the commission through their lawyer that they were prepared to appear before the commission, at a location outside the country’s borders or via video link as they were not prepared to return to South Africa.

“That means that those who give evidence against Mr Ajay Gupta and Mr Rajesh Gupta would be subject to harsh rules, and there would be different rules for Mr Ajay Gupta and Mr Rajesh Gupta. They would enjoy special treatment that no other witness who appears before the commission would enjoy. This commission sees no reason to give Mr Ajay Gupta and Mr Rajesh Gupta any special treatment, and it will not do so,”  said Justice Zondo.