Duduzane Zuma’s lawyers tear into Mcebisi Jonas’s evidence

Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas. File picture
Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas. File picture
Image: Alon Skuy

In a heated cross-examination by Duduzane Zuma’s lawyers‚ Mcebisi Jonas has admitted that there were inaccuracies in one of the statements he submitted to then public protector Thuli Madonsela for her investigation into state capture.

But Jonas made it clear that the document‚ which contained a timeline of events depicting what happened when he was taken to the Gupta’s Saxonwold home‚ was drafted by his lawyer hurriedly at the request of the public protector.

He said he had cleared up the inaccuracies when he made a comprehensive statement to the commission of inquiry into state capture when he appeared in August 2018.

During his second appearance at the commission on Friday‚ advocate Piet Louw‚ representing former president Jacob Zuma’s son‚ tore into Jonas’s evidence and argued his statement was patently wrong.

But Louw did not contest that‚ as per Jonas’s evidence‚ he met Zuma on October 23 2015 at the Hyatt Hotel in Rosebank or that Zuma took Jonas to the Gupta’s Saxonwold home.

There were also no questions about Jonas’s primary allegation that at the home‚ one of the Gupta brothers offered him R600m and the job of finance minister in exchange for doing the family’s bidding.

In his evidence‚ Jonas said he was introduced to Zuma by businessman Fana Hlongwane.

He claims he met Zuma after a Nedlac meeting at the Hyatt Hotel‚ after which he went with Zuma to the Guptas’ home, not knowing who he was going to meet, and without his private bodyguards.

“You decided to leave with Zuma to a place you did not know for a purpose you did not know?” Louw asked him.

“And you left your protectors behind and your vehicle?”

Jonas responded that he had “no reason [to believe] that there was anything funny or bad that was about to happen”.

Louw also asked why Jonas did not lay a charge with the police and only mentioned the meeting to Pravin Gordhan and Nhlanhla Nene.

“The situation at the time was very hostile. I hardly trusted the police‚ I didn’t trust the Hawks and I didn’t even trust the intelligence‚” he said.

The commission will continue on Monday with evidence related to Denel.