21 January 2019

South Africa: Mokonyane Feels 'Betrayed' By Zondo Commission for Not Giving Her Access to Contents of Agrizzi's Testimony

Photo: GCIS
Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane (file photo).

Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane says she has not been afforded the opportunity to make representations before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

This is after former Bosasa chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi, who is currently testifying before the commission, claimed that she had been allegedly paid R50 000 a month for years to protect the company from law enforcement agencies.

In a letter dated January 21, which News24 has seen, Mokonyane's lawyers state that on January 16, an investigator from the commission advised them that she may be implicated by evidence given by Agrizzi and that Mokonyane was welcome to attend the proceedings in person or send a representative.

The letter also states that the said investigator then further indicated that the commission had resolved not to issue notices to implicated persons in terms of rule 3.3 of the rules governing proceedings of the commission.

"The failure by the commission to afford our client reasons or an opportunity to consider such decision and/or make representations, constitutes a breach of our client's constitutional right to procedural fairness," the letter reads.

The letter further states that Mokonyane felt "betrayed" by the commission when she got media enquiries asking for her response to allegations which were reported to have been in an affidavit deposed by Agrizzi.

Call for Mokonyane's suspension

"Having not been afforded the opportunity to access the affidavit of Mr [Agrizzi] by the commission, our client felt betrayed by the fact that the newspapers which are not affected parties had access to the contents of the affidavit and expected her to respond to such allegations".

The commission's spokesperson, Reverend Mbuyiselo Stemela, told News24 that the commission was not aware of the letter at this stage.

"I don't have any information about the letter at the moment. It hasn't been brought to our attention," Stemela said.

Meanwhile, the DA has called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to suspend Mokonyane with immediate effect following the damning allegations against her.

"Clearly Mokonyane is a minister compromised and cannot be trusted to serve in the best interests of the people.

"Mokonyane undoubtedly played a central role in aiding and abetting the capture of our state. The president must do the right thing and suspend her without any delay as she must be held accountable for her actions," DA MP Natasha Mazzone said in a statement.

Source: <b>News24</b>

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