STATE CAPTURE INQUIRY: Lynne Brown cross-examination application dismissed

20 September 2018 - 11:29
By Penwell Dlamini
Former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER Former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

Former public enterprise minister Lynne Brown’s application to cross-examine  a witness at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry has been dismissed.

Brown can however submit a new application at a later stage if she “meets the requirements”, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said on Thursday.

“Miss Lynne Brown’s application is dismissed. She has not put up her version and I am not at this stage prepared to grant her leave to cross-examine. She is free to later on renew the application if she meets the requirements. So the final decision is her application is dismissed,” Zondo said ending the application which was being presented by Brown’s lawyer Simmy Lebala.

Brown wanted to cross-examine former deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas on the testimony he brought to the commission which said that Ajay Gupta mentioned her as one of the people with whom his family worked with.

However, Lebala struggled from the word go to convince the chairperson that the application had any merit to it.

Lebala tried to persuade Zondo that the  context in which Jonas mentioned his client’s name was important for the commission to take into consideration.

“What is pertinent is context, it is not the mere mention of the name [of my client]. The test is not whether it is true or not,” Lebala argued.

Zondo was not impressed with the line of argument.

“My question is what are you going to say to him. Are you going to say, well do you confirm that you said Mr Ajay said he worked with among others my client and let me assume that he says ‘yes, I confirm’. You are not going to ask him whether what Ajay Gupta told him is true….Mr Jonas might just say that is what I was told I don’t know whether it is true or not. I was just saying what I was told.”

Lebala responded that the principles of cross examination “ridicule” the approach taken by Zondo.

Zondo demanded to know which version was Brown bringing to the commission with regards to Jonas’ evidence.

“What is the version of your client to the allegation? I don’t seem to find it in the affidavit. I may have missed it…One of the requirements for you to cross examine is that you must put up your version,” Justice Zondo said.