'Sir‚ I'm sick. I'm not okay‚' says Nkandla accused

25 April 2017 - 13:25
By Matthew Savides

Public works employee Sibusiso Chonco has pleaded for a disciplinary hearing into his role in the Nkandla saga to be delayed.

“Sir‚ I’m sick. I’m not okay‚” Chonco said after being asked by hearing chairman Adv Thulani Khuzwayo whether he wanted proceedings to go ahead.

Earlier‚ Chonco’s legal representative‚ Adrian Moodley‚ argued that Chonco’s ill health meant he would not be able to defend himself adequately against the accusations.

Chonco is one of 10 department employees charged with flouting tender processes in appointing architect Minenhle Makhanya to oversee the R246-million in upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

However‚ Khuzwayo and the department’s lawyer‚ Clement Kulati‚ said that this was not a good enough reason for the postponement – and also called into question the veracity of his sick note. Kulati described it as a “delaying tactic”.

“The public is going to start asking questions as to why these disciplinary hearings are not proceeding. The public has been waiting‚” said Kulati.

However‚ Moodley said that the fact Chonco was at the hearing – after being ordered by Khuzwayo on Monday to attend – showed his willingness to go ahead.

“[Chonco] is not flouting this process. Not being able [to attend] and refusing are two very different things‚” said Moodley.

Khuzwayo is expected to deliver a judgment by midday.

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Chonco addressed directly #NkandlaHearings https://t.co/fUHLqmkduP