The much anticipated Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCOI) into State Capture is showing early signs of bias and inconsistencies. Black First Land First (BLF) asks the Deputy Chief Justice, Raymond Zondo, to be impartial and not play to the political gallery. The decision of the Judge to deny the Guptas the right to cross-examine witnesses via video link is not reaaonble or consistent.
The participation of the Gupta brothers in the JCOI is critical in helping the nation to get a full picture of the allegations. The denial of the brothers of this right has the impact of shielding witnesses who lied before the JCOI.
Judge Zondo has already accepted the argument of Mcebisi Jonas that he didn’t trust the South African law enforcement agencies. The Guptas have only echoed this claim which has been heard and not challenged by the JCOI. Why is it okay for Jonas to make such a claim but not good enough when the Guptas make a similar claim?
We have seen that the Hawks act as private paratroopers of white monopoly capital. They arrested Duduzane Zuma and shackled him just to go to court to take away his rights to travel. The same Hawks asked for a six months postponement. This shows beyond doubt that they are abusing their powers and therefore the adversaries of white monopoly capital have a legitimate reason to question their integrity.
The second and glaring inconsistency shown by Judge Zondo is his refusal to grant the Guptas permission for cross examination by video link. Judge Zondo has already established a precedent by allowing the so called ‘state capture’ experts to testify via video link. Again the question arises – why the double standards when it is in relation to the Guptas?
BLF calls on Judge Zondo to review his decision so that the Guptas can state their side of the story and the nation can have the opportunity to make up its mind on an informed basis. Zondo is not presiding over a trial. In the event of his recommendations having criminal implications for witnesses then other mechanisms, including the law enforcement agencies and extradition treaties, will come into force. The Judge should not help the Hawks to harrass the Guptas via the back door. Let the truth come out. Let the Guptas testify via video link.
BLF has a big interest in the JCOI into State Capture to which it shall shortly be submitting over twenty matters.
Issued by Black First Land First, National Coordinating Committee (BLF NCC)
13 September 2018
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