State Capture Commission Chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has indicated his intention to charge former South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni for revealing the identity of a secret State Capture witness dubbed Mr. X.
Myeni revealed the name earlier on Thursday during her testimony before the commission. Her lawyers say they understand the serious nature of her conduct.
Zondo has ordered that the identity of Mr. X remain a secret going forward. He says Myeni breached the commission’s rules for witness protection when she revealed the identity of Mr. X.
Advocate Kate Hofmeyr cautioned Myeni against revealing the identity of Mr. X. “Ms Myeni, I would caution you for the remainder of today, not to refer to this witness as anything other than Mr. X.”
Myeni responded, “Honestly, I am feeling so bad about this whole thing because I don’t mean to disrespect anyone and especially, I don’t mean to disrespect the Commission or the Chairperson. I am feeling very bad. Ms Hofmeyr, if I have mentioned him again, it would be out of … first, maybe, I do not know. I did not hear myself whether I said his name or not. One, it was disbelief. Two, it was an emotion that came with it, and feeling betrayed. I apologise. If I’ve said it again, it’s really something that I am … I think my mind is not into it. I apologise.”
Myeni’s lawyers have requested Zondo to defer his charge against her to Tuesday next week to give them time to respond.
Myeni’s lawyers say they understand the serious nature of her conduct. Nqaba Buthelezi, one of her lawyers, “I do not want to get into an exchange, debate or merits of what Ms Hofmyer … we will deal (with) that on the submission. We request that the chair defer the ruling on this issue having submitted the request by end of Tuesday next week, with regards to how we proceed. Unfortunately, ours is to say we will consult and try to get proper instructions, but we will be making a formal submission.”
Myeni has told the Commission that she will continue to remain silent if she suspects that answering some questions would incriminate her in wrongdoing.
Myeni says she is deemed guilty by association with Jacob Zuma and that there has been no evidence in court that she had taken any money.
“Books have been written about us, things have been said about us, certain names have been said about us, just by association, chair if had a choice, I could wake up the next day being a Mrs. White, because that name would give me credibility in my own country chairperson.”
Zondo cautioned her that her decision to refuse to answer questions does not mean no finding will be made about her.
Myeni has yet again refused to answer any questions, invoking her right to remain silent.
However, Zondo says Myeni’s actions may impact the findings of the commission in reference to the testimony and evidence of some witnesses who have implicated her.
“If a particular person or witness exercises their right not to tell their side of the story, the commission will have to deal with the matters without the benefit of that witness’s side of the story. And when it makes its report and findings, it will do so only on the basis of the evidence of those who put evidence before it and who answered questions,” said Zondo.