Professional or ‘unwarranted emotions’? — Dali Mpofu trends for his outburst at state capture inquiry

24 March 2021 - 09:48
Advocate Dali Mpofu trended on social media after he told public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and his legal counsel advocate Michelle le Roux to 'shut up' at the state capture inquiry.
Advocate Dali Mpofu trended on social media after he told public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan and his legal counsel advocate Michelle le Roux to 'shut up' at the state capture inquiry.
Image: GALLO IMAGES

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:


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