Professional or ‘unwarranted emotions’? — Dali Mpofu trends for his outburst at state capture inquiry
Advocate Dali Mpofu’s outburst at the state capture inquiry has seen him topping the trending list on social media.
On Tuesday tensions ran high at the inquiry when Mpofu told public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and his legal counsel advocate Michelle le Roux to “shut up”.
Mpofu was representing former SA Revenue Service commissioner Tom Moyane during his cross-examination of Gordhan.
Gordhan implicated Moyane in allegations of state capture when he gave evidence to the inquiry in November 2018.
Le Roux asked Gordhan to tell inquiry chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo how it felt to be called racist by Moyane and his legal team.
However, Zondo stepped in to say Gordhan’s answer wouldn’t be necessary as he had already defended himself against the racism allegations earlier.
Mpofu then objected after Gordhan asked to make a brief comment before Le Roux interrupted him.
Mpofu pointed out to Zondo he still “had the floor” and said Le Roux must “shut up”.
“Chair, I’m on the floor. Really, I can’t stand this kind of behaviour. This cannot be happening for the third time. Miss Le Roux must shut up when I am speaking. You too, Mr Gordhan,” Mpofu said.
Mpofu’s comment drew an exclamation of “yoooo” from the background.
Zondo quickly reminded Mpofu he was the one in charge of the inquiry.
Minister of Public Enterprises, Pravin Gordhan’s cross examination in the state capture commission continued on March 23 2021. Lawyers for former Eskom boss Tom Moyane brought forward issues regarding the legality of the SARS ‘rogue unit’ and accused Gordhan of perjury amongst other things.
In a back and forth argument, Zondo had the last word by telling Mpofu to sit down.
“Mr Mpofu, I am in charge here and I am telling you to sit down,” he said.
Taking to social media, Mpofu said the whole thing was a game of “let's blame and attack the interruptee, not the interrupter”.
“I’d rather die 1,000 times than succumb to such indignity and disrespect! It will never happen. They can go jump in the nearest lake,” he said.
The outburst saw Mpofu and the term “shut up” topping Twitter’s trending list as many weighed in on the exchange.
Some said Mpofu had the right to silence Le Roux while others said his actions were shocking and unprofessional.
Here is a snapshot of some of the reactions:
Advocate Dali Mpofu’s conduct today at the Zondo commission was absolutely shocking and unprofessional. He stood up and told Advocate Le Roux to “shut up” and then also told a person in the gallery to “shut up” as well. Mpofu is an embarrassment to his profession.— Joburg lawyer (@joburglawyer) March 23, 2021
There’s nothing wrong that Adv Dali Mpofu did. He was being disrespected and addressed in such a arrogant, racist & condescending manner. People always want to focus on the reaction instead of what led us there. Sometimes it’s necessary for natives to say Shut Up 😃— Modibe Modiba (@mmodiba10) March 24, 2021
I did not hear him uttering a sexist word to the lady. He said she should shut up because she was talking while he was on the floor. It was his time to talk. I saw it as white supramacy showing direct for Adv Dali Mpofu.— RET Struggle 4 a bright future 4 Africa. K Mabaso (@URfShtvBtsQcJUb) March 23, 2021
Dali Mpofu at state capture enquiry accused Pravin Gordhan of being racist for asking Tom Moyane to stop being cheeky and grow up— Daniel black (@truthispower10) March 23, 2021
Yet in the same proceedings he belittle Pravin lawyer by labeling her as junior counsel who must shut up and ask Pravin to shut up
Judge Zondo, an astute operator par excellence. As for Dali Mpofu saying “shut up” in such proceedings reveals the anger issues this guy has. Such unwarranted emotional outburst have no place in legal proceedings. 👇🏿👇🏿— makua (@makuamj) March 23, 2021