Des Van Rooyen can't cross-examine former treasury DG on state capture claims - yet

18 February 2019 - 12:08 By AMIL UMRAW
Former treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg, on February 18 2019.
Former treasury director-general Lungisa Fuzile at the state capture inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg, on February 18 2019.
Image: Masi Losi

State capture inquiry chairman deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo on Monday postponed an application by former cabinet minister Des Van Rooyen to cross-examine Lungisa Fuzile.

Fuzile, who once served as the director-general of the national treasury, previously told the commission that a suspected Gupta family ally who was parachuted into his office as Van Rooyen’s adviser had acted as a law unto himself, handing out instructions to senior officials even before Van Rooyen was sworn in as finance minister in 2015.

He also detailed how after just three minutes of having received a confidential national treasury report, Van Rooyen’s advisers had forwarded the document to the Guptas' business associates.

Lawyers acting on Van Rooyen’s behalf approached Zondo on Monday for leave to cross-examine Fuzile and for Van Rooyen to give his own evidence.

However, Zondo indicated that after reading Van Rooyen’s statement to the commission last week, he asked for a supplementary affidavit which deals with allegations that the former minister was placed at the Gupta’s Saxonwold compound numerous times before he was appointed.

Zondo said it would not be fair for Van Rooyen to proceed with the application to cross-examine Fuzile until his supplementary affidavit was filed.

“It’s important that this commission be fair to all parties. The issue I have raised that I wanted Van Rooyen and his lawyers to deal with is an important issue. They were only informed of it last week. I will allow Van Rooyen to have the opportunity to file his supplementary affidavit. A fresh date will have to be arranged (for Fuzile’s cross-examination).

Fuzile will continue his testimony, after a short adjournment, on separate matters on Monday.


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