The Zondo commission of evasion

The cost of the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture is nearing R800-million. With no end in sight the bill could escalate and yet Deputy Justice Raymond Zondo and evidence leaders have to sit through one evasive witness after another.


Here are some of the strange things Zondo, and the public, have been subjected to:

Vytjie Mentor.
  • “Then the food comes and I pick on it, because I don’t like it. I must say that I am familiar with curry … I do a Malay curry. So that was Indian curry and I don’t like … I just picked on it out of courtesy.” — Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.
  • “That is where I struggled actually. I came very excited. I booked off the whole day to listen to Minister (Pravin) Gordhan because I thought because he was the minister of finance he is going to have tangible information, paper trail and all that. I struggled,” — Former government communication and information systems head, Mzwanele Manyi
Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
  • “We would fly to all these provinces with the Guptas even to Cape Town, because we were in partnership. And they had everything. For me it was an opportunity to also capture them.” — Former SABC chief operating officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng.
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula.
  • “Before you talk to them [the Guptas] you eat curry. So this thing you see in the public that people eat curry there. It is not a joke. It is true. I ate it, but that curry never finished me. I stood firm.” — Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula
  • “He says that I auctioned off South Africa … Well, did I auction Table Mountain? Did I auction Johannesburg? It is a lie, there is nothing of that nature.” — Former president Jacob Zuma.
Nomvula Mokonyane.
  • “Chairperson I’ve never received anything, as Mr Agrizzi is stating … This has not happened. We all know that a house like this one cannot have a storage to keep all these items. Even those that came on-site, I’m sure they didn’t find any strong room or a fridge or whatever, a freezer, that could keep this.” — Former Environmental Affairs Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.
  • “I am referring to knowing his qualifications because he communicated those to me and through my engagement with him, I was able to verify that he is a qualified person. And I had no reason not to believe him when he told me of his qualifications.” — Former Finance Minister Des van Rooyen on why he didn’t check the CV of Mohamed Bobat before hiring him as his adviser.
  • “Chair, what I don’t know, I don’t remember. That’s the bottom line.” — Vuyisile Ndzeku, the director of JM Aviation.
Yakhe Kwinana.
  • “If my daughter sells fat cakes and someone next door is also selling fat cakes, why would I buy next door instead of supporting my daughter?” — Yakhe Kwinana, former SAA Technical board chair. 
  • “I prefer not to answer this question. Because my focus is dealing with poverty, inequality and all the other problems facing me as a woman leader. I have never had an opportunity to sit down and study people’s CVs so that I can align my CV to somebody else’s CV.”— Former SAA board chair Dudu Myeni.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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