state capture inquiry extension

Zondo fires at SC legal team after Anoj Singh blunder

Andile Sicetsha - 13.01.2021

Former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh escapes the #StateCaptureInquiry after the commission’s legal team botched a summons.

The State Capture Inquiry has been met with delays, forcing Deputy Chair Justice Raymond Zondo to halt proceedings until 16:00.

Anoj Singh gets away with testifying at Zondo commission

Things didn’t turn out quite as planned, on Wednesday morning, when former Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh was expected to give evidence on issues occurring during his tenure at the helm of Eskom.

In particular, the commission was interested in Singh’s version of his dealings with McKinsey and Gupta-owned Trillian, at a time when he transitioned between Transnet and Eskom’s helm.

However, much to Zondo’s surprise, things didn’t turn out this way. Singh, according to his representative Advocate Annelene Van den Heever, was not prepared to come forth to provide testimony.

The former CFO’s defence had, in the 11th hour, submitted an affidavit detailing the sheer incompetency of the inquiry’s legal team, led, in this case, by Advocate Pule Seleka SC.

Inquiry legal team dropped the ball with ‘fatally defective’ summons

After a brief adjournment, where Zondo had to go through the affidavit, proceedings were restarted and the inquiry heard of the communication mix-up between Singh’s new legal representation and the SCI team.

The gist of it is: Singh wants an adjournment on Wednesday’s testimony to study all the evidence transcripts thoroughly so that when he returns, on a rescheduled date, he can provide the inquiry with a ‘comprehensive’ affidavit.

A perturbed Zondo blasted Singh for seeking preferential treatment and stressed that the inquiry simply doesn’t have the time and resources to offer Singh leave of testimony.

At the crux of it all, Zondo explained in his ruling on the defence’s objection to proceedings, is the “fatally defective” summons that was issued to Singh.

Therefore, the inquiry chairperson was obliged to grant Heever her appeal for an adjournment. Singh has until Monday, 18 January to file his comprehensive affidavit to the commission for a new date to be rescheduled.

At the time this article was published, the commission had adjourned until 16:00.