Zondo concerned about Brian Molefe's ex-bodyguard's safety after assassination attempt
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo has expressed concern over the recent assassination attempt against former Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe’s former bodyguard and driver who gave evidence before the commission into state capture last year.
This comes as Molefe was scheduled to take the hot seat on Monday where he was expected to testify and answer to various allegations of corruption and money laundering relating to his tenure at the helm of the state-owned entity.
Witnesses – three former bodyguards and a driver – who gave evidence under identity protection, and only identified as Witness 1, 2 and 3, had accused Molefe, former Transnet boss Siyabonga Gama and former minister Malusi Gigaba of having often left the Gupta Saxonwold compound with bags filled with R200 notes when they visited.
Before the cross-examination got underway, the commission’s head of the legal team advocate Paul Pretorius pointed out that there had been an assassination attempt against Witness 1, who implicated Molefe.
Pretorius said the incident had now been reported to law enforcement authorities and that the security of all the three witnesses was being beefed up.
Zondo slammed the assassination attempt, stating they were meant to intimidate and attack those who wanted to assist the nation in uncovering state capture.
“It is completely unacceptable that witnesses, whether they have given evidence before the commission or are still going to give evidence, are targeted and attacked and attempts are made on their lives and to kill them. I would ask the law enforcement agencies to please assist this commission by dealing with these matters expeditiously because those who seek to silence people who want to assist the commission and the nation seem determined,” Zondo said.
He said the attacks could deter many other potential witnesses from coming forward and assisting the commission.
This came as cross-examination proceedings were also getting underway by Gigaba against the Witness 3 who gave evidence on how he had, on several times, driven Gigaba to the Gupta home where he would emerge with a bag full of cash, some of which he used to pay for his suits.
Witness 3 had told the commission that Gigaba’s trips to the Guptas were not recorded as official trips.
Advocate Richard Solomon SC is representing Gigaba in the cross-examination of Witness 3.