Judge Zondo 'not happy' with Pravin Gordhan's no-show at state capture inquiry

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan will be cross-examined by axed former Sars boss Tom Moyane at the state capture inquiry on a date yet to be determined.
Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan will be cross-examined by axed former Sars boss Tom Moyane at the state capture inquiry on a date yet to be determined.
Image: Sunday Times/Alon Skuy

Public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan, who was meant to be cross-examined by former Sars boss Tom Moyane, failed to appear before the state capture inquiry on Wednesday, citing “cabinet commitments”.

Gordhan applied for the postponement of his appearance until August 31.

Commission chairperson deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo was “not happy” with this, saying Gordhan ought to have had a compelling reason not to appear and cabinet meetings were not a good enough excuse.

Zondo said if Gordhan's reason for non-appearance was cabinet duties, it might well be that everyone in future may use “work commitments” as a reason to avoid showing up.

Zondo is considering whether to subpoena all those who are meant to appear before the commission to avoid an open season of excuses.

“Cabinet on its own cannot be more important than him appearing before this commission. There would need to be something more,” said Zondo.

“This commission has limited time to finish its work. If everybody is going to say I have work commitments, I cannot appear, then we are not going to finish.

“Maybe the solution is to make sure that summons are issued against everyone who is supposed to appear before the commission. I am not happy but I will postpone it to a date that I will fix.”

Moyane’s legal representative advocate Mfesane Sibotho did not oppose the application by Gordhan.

Zondo granted the application to a date still to be determined, but Gordhan requested that he appear on August 31.

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