Africa-Press – South-Africa. Johannesburg – Former Eskom and Transnet chief financial officer Anoj Singh will return to the commission of inquiry into state capture at a later date after the commission’s legal team bungled a summons for him to appear.
Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo expressed his disappointment on Wednesday when it emerged that his legal team gave Singh defective summons to appear before the inquiry.
An angry Zondo said Singh was summoned to answer questions about a non-existent affidavit that he did not file.
In August, Singh was excluded from membership of the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica) after he was found guilty on a dozen charges including gross negligence, dishonesty, showing a clear lack of accountability and committed serious breaches of Saica’s code of conduct, resulting in Transnet and Eskom suffering substantial financial prejudice.
Zondo said the commission should not have issued summons stating that they filed a non-existent affidavit and described them as defective.
“You as a leader should not have authorised your team to give the secretariat summons based on a non-existent affidavit,” he told evidence leader Pule Seleka SC.
According to Zondo, the summons served on Singh did not have to refer to any affidavit.
”The summons should not have referred to any affidavit in circumstances where there was no affidavit,” he said.
He said the summons should be direct and tell a witness the issues to be addressed.
“These summonses do not tell him anything meaningful… The commission can’t or shouldn’t insist that he must testify on the basis of these summonses,” he explained.
The only thing Seleka could ask Singh about, strictly speaking, Justice Zondo said, is this non-existent affidavit.
”I was very inclined to refuse the request for indulgence that counsel for Singh requested,” he added.
Zondo maintained he wanted to insist that Singh give his evidence and be questioned but as things stood on Wednesday morning he (Singh) could approach the high court to ask the summons to be set aside because they are fatally defective and that he might have a good point.
He said he had difficulty insisting that Singh must give evidence based on these summonses.
Seleka said Zondo should appreciate the workload on the commission’s personnel and that not everything passes through his eyes.
However, Zondo told Seleka that as the team leader for the commission’s Eskom work, the summons should not have been sent without being authorised by himself.
Singh was ordered to file a comprehensive affidavit by the end of business on Monday, January 18, and that another date will have to be found for him to testify.