State Capture: McBride set to take the stand on Monday

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The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has been postponed to Monday next week. Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) head Robert McBride was due to testify but after the Commission learnt that he would implicate a lot of people, it postponed the public hearings to enable them to be notified.

“Primarily we must make sure that people who are implicated are given notice in advance and are able to respond in terms of the rules on the allegations before the witness implicating them gives evidence. This is what the rules require, but the rules to acknowledge that there might be circumstances where it is not possible to do this,”  the Chair of the Commission, Raymond Zondo explains.

The Commission is set to continue on Monday, with Robert McBride and senior officials from Eskom expected to give evidence.

Earlier the Commission heard evidence from an architecture expert who works for the Public Works Department, Erna Wiese.

Former African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament and current COPE spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, was the first to testify this morning.

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has heard evidence from a qualified architect who works for the Public Works Department, Erna Wiese.

She told the Commission about their findings following an inspection in loco conducted at the Gupta compound in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. Wiese described how they looked around the streets, driving up and down between houses in the area.

Wiese says former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor was very confused about the exact house but she has assured the Commission that the inspection is legitimate because the internal and external inspection was conducted under strict supervision. She says when Mentor appeared before the Commission, she could not remember some of the features she had mentioned when they were conducting the inspection in loco.

Former ANC MP Dennis Bloem also gave his testimony. Bloem, who is now COPE national spokesperson, said  Mentor called him to a meeting in Parliament in 2010, when she informed him of a request from the Guptas.

This followed Mentor’s evidence earlier this week, when she told the commission that she informed Bloem who was a member of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence about her concerns about the Gupta brothers.

Bloem said he couldn’t remember whether Mentor raised any concerns in a portfolio committee discussion. He however confirms that at a later stage he did hear from Mentor who told him about the offer of a ministerial position from the Guptas.

“She said she first asked them how come they are offering her such a position, because according to her it’s only the head of state, the President who can appoint ministers. But they said to her ‘no we will make sure that you become the minister if you agree’,” argues Bloem.

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