State capture evidence leader in tears over Mr X's in-camera application

17 February 2020 - 12:27 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
Advocate Kate Hofmeyr broke down in tears at the Zondo commission on February 17.
Advocate Kate Hofmeyr broke down in tears at the Zondo commission on February 17.
Image: Gallo Images / Netwerk 24 / Felix Dlangamandla

Zondo commission evidence leader advocate Kate Hofmeyr on Monday broke down in tears while presenting an application for a witness who wants his identity shielded, as he fears for his life.

The incident happened while Hofmeyr was submitting her opening remarks about evidence pertaining to the Mhlathuze Water Board. 

“His evidence will be heard by the public and everyone in this room, but if he succeeds in his application [to give evidence in camera], he will not have his name or his appearance publicly revealed,” said Hofmeyr in a trembling voice.

“The witness is unrepresented and it is for that reason that the legal team of the commission will move his application.

“The witness is currently deposing to an affidavit clarifying this. What he seeks is that he be referred to as Mr X and similarly any reporting on his evidence be referred to in that manner.

“He fears for his life in giving this evidence. The threat to him and his family in giving this evidence has been assessed by the security protection services of the commission and has been found to be real and credible,” said Hofmeyr, her voice drifting as she continued weeping.

“As of Saturday, he was placed in the custody of those services (security protection) and he was only able to meet the legal team for the first time yesterday. 

“After that meeting, his application was finalised and, chair, within minutes of that, finalisation notice was given to persons he will implicate in giving his evidence. And the notice was given to Mr Thalente Myeni, his mother Ms Duduzile Myeni and to former president Jacob Zuma, and all their notices went to their lawyers as they are on record being legally represented.” 

Thalente Myeni is giving evidence at the commission, while Mr X's application will be heard in full later, after a supplementary affidavit is disposed of, said commission chairperson deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.