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Opinion|| State Capture Commission Shows No Mercy To A Man Who Released Zuma By Medical Parole

Zondi commission on Wednesday disapproved an application by former prisons boss Arthur Fraser to cross-examine witnesses who linked him in wrongdoing.

Commission chairperson, acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, said Fraser had failed to comply with regulations set out for the type of application he sought. This included detailing suspicions made against him in full as well as giving his version of events. The affidavit Fraser sent to the commission was also unsigned. Fraser gave the names of witnesses he wants to cross-examine, including Mo Shaik, Gibson Njenje, and Jeff Maqetuka, but did not specify what evidence he wants to challenge, other than giving four broad areas.

Fraser sought to challenge evidence given to the commission that he enabled corruption and a lack of accountability involving at least R125m during his time as director-general of the State Security Agency. He was also accused of turning the agency into a piggy bank. Fraser said he was unable to comply fully with the commission’s regulations as there were documents he sought from the SSA which would have helped him complete his evidence. It was also alleged that Fraser had approved an operation where rogue intelligence operatives were used to disturb the 2017 ANC Nasrec elective conference.

Fraser’s lawyer Rapulane Kgoroeadira said at the time that the documents would provide concrete information against those who made suspicions involving his client. Some people have come to appear before the Zondo and pretended that the commission has created a parallel structure and that they have politicized the intelligence and the like. For that reason, they are not going to limit themselves to only what they are accused of. It was also made clear to Fraser that due to time limitations there was no guarantee that even if he received the documents he would be able to give oral evidence.

The commission is expected to submit its report to President Cyril Ramaphosa by the end of the year. At first, the submission was set down for September, but a three-month extension was granted. Despite the time that had passed, the commission still publicly invited Fraser to co-operate with its investigations. This is despite Fraser seemingly engaging in investigations outside the corridors of the commission. Fraser had failed to keep the commission updated of his engagements with the SSA to access the documents.

The notion is that Fraser stopped seeking the SSA documents. If that is the case, how does he expect his cross-examination to continue without the documents he said the proceedings could not do without? Fraser is a good friend to former president Jacob Zuma and authorized his release on medical parole. This denial is a big blow to him and his friend because his cross-examination could have confused the witnesses and the public.

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Fraser Gibson Njenje Jeff Maqetuka Mo Shaik Raymond Zondo


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