Nomvula Mokonyane ready to testify at Zondo commission on state capture

28 March 2019 - 18:35
By Mpho Sibanyoni
Nomvula Mokonyane says she is ready to testify and cross examine witnesses at the state capture commission of inquiry.
Image: Alon Skuy Nomvula Mokonyane says she is ready to testify and cross examine witnesses at the state capture commission of inquiry.

Environmental affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane has expressed willingness to testify  at the state capture commission of inquiry.

Mokonyane, who is implicated in allegations of bribery and corruption by the evidence of former Bosasa chief operating officer Angelo Agrizzi, said on Thursday it was also her intention to cross-examine witnesses.

Mokonyane, who described Agrizzi's testimony as self-contradictory and false, said her decision came after she on Wednesday received notice from the commission that allegations contained in the evidence of Agrizzi, implicated her in unlawful, illegal or improper conduct.

“Having now formally received a notice from the commission and the aspects of the statements of Mr Agrizzi that make allegations against me, it is my intention to exercise my rights to testify, cross-examine and call witnesses before the commission.”

“This is to ensure that we formally and under-oath, dismiss allegations that I have or had a corrupt or unethical relationship with Bosasa or the Watson family as the alleged by Mr Agrizzi. 

“The allegations are of serious nature, self-contradictory in many respects and are designed to cast aspersions of impropriety against me in my personal and official capacities,” she said.

“I intend to provide the commission with an honest account of my relationship with the Watson family, my role as the previous head of elections and organising for the African National Congress as well as my various roles in government insofar as they may relate to the ‘false’ allegations of bribery of myself by Bosasa,” she said.

Mokonyane said the allegations made against her "were untrue and that this will become evident once she exercises her rights before the commission.

She said it was her intention to respect the commission and to refrain from running parallel public commentary on its proceedings via media.

Mokonyane had early this year complained to the commission that rule 3.3 states that ‘upon receipt’ of a notice and statement from the commission implicating one, the implicated party has 14 days from the date of the notice, to file an application to testify, cross-examine a witness and/or call witnesses.

"The minister was never issued with such a notice at the instance of Mr Agrizzi’s initial testimony.

"A formal complaint in this regard was filed with the chair of the commission, particularly on procedural fairness, potential prejudice and appropriateness of the decision of the commission not to comply with its own rules and regulations in this regard.

The commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo has reserved judgement on the matter.