Judge Raymond Zondo concerned about timing of Bosasa arrests

Chief justice Raymond Zondo talks about the difficulties he faces in terms of getting people to testify in the state capture inquiry.
Chief justice Raymond Zondo talks about the difficulties he faces in terms of getting people to testify in the state capture inquiry.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Thulani Mbele

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo says people are hesitant to appear before his commission of inquiry into state capture because they fear for their  their lives and jobs.

Zondo spoke to eNCA's Vuyo Mvoko on the issues around the state capture commission, including the difficulties faced in getting whistleblowers to come forward, and the timing of Angelo Agrizzi's arrest.

Here are five telling quotes from his interview:

People fear testifying

"I can imagine that some of the reasons are that some people who might have knowledge of the kind of information, or the incidents that the commission is interested in ... might be fearful that if they disclose certain information about certain people they may be harmed. Or that they may lose their jobs, depending on where they work."

More people need to come forward

"I do believe that there are still many people, especially when one talks about past and present ministers, past and present DGs, deputy DGs, national government departments and provincial government departments, CEOs of parastatals, who haven't come forward and who must know something about state capture and about corruption."

Concern about the Bosasa arrests

"I was very concerned when those arrests happened. Not because I am saying that people in respect of whom the police and the law enforcement agencies have evidence of criminal activity should not be dealt with by the way of criminal processes, or the criminal justice system, but the timing was very unacceptable."

There was fear in fighting for freedom

"We must go back and have a llook at the history of this country. We attained our freedom, not because there was nobody who was fearful, but nevertheless because there were sufficient numbers of people who were prepared to sacrifice, who were prepared to fight, who were prepared to leave the country, who were prepared to be subjected to all kinds of victimisation."

On not allowing the Guptas to testify

"A very good decision, I have no doubt. One, on the grounds of law which I set out in the decision that I gave, but two, also in terms of policy. You have to be very careful about people who run away from a legal system - because that is what it amounted to. They ran away from this legal system. They didn't want to co-operate with law enforcement agencies here.

"One of the problems which could have arisen is that because they were outside of the borders of SA, if they gave untruthful evidence deliberately there was nothing we could do about it."

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