Former public enterprises minister Lynne Brown has not denied that she had a relationship with the infamous Gupta family‚ but would dispute any claims that she worked with them if given a chance to testify at the state capture inquiry.
Brown’s application to cross-examine former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas was on Thursday dismissed by the commission chair‚ Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
However‚ Brown has been granted permission to submit a new application at a later stage if she “meets the requirements”‚ Zondo ruled before announcing the next set of witnesses to testify at the commission.
Current and former finance ministers Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan will testify on October 3 and 10‚ respectively. Former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan will give evidence on October 15.
Brown wanted to question Jonas on his testimony that Ajay Gupta had told him that the family “worked closely” with a number of government high-fliers‚ including her and former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.
Zondo appeared vexed that Brown’s lawyer Simmy Lebala wanted to cross-examine Jonas without giving his client’s version of her relationship with the Guptas.
Zondo said he also understood that Brown wanted to cross-examine Jonas on evidence he would still give to the commission about the hostility from cabinet towards the National Treasury and ministry of finance.
Lebala said they only wanted to question Jonas on specific points of his conversation with Gupta.