Zondo commission: Hawks unit head fails to appear due to alleged depression, Covid-19

The testimony of Major-General Zinhle Mnonopi, the head of the Hawks’ anti-corruption unit, was postponed after it was alleged she is suffering from depression and also tested positive for Covid-19.

Commission evidence leader advocate Garth Hulley SC said: “The basis of her postponement is twofold – in the first instance there is an allegation supported apparently by a medical doctor to the effect that she is suffering from depression in the second instance, there is a report to the effect that she has tested positive for Covid-19”.

Hulley added they were not in a position to challenge the report and did not oppose the postponement.

He, however, said Mnonopi should be tested for depression by the commission’s own medical experts.

Inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said it was not the first time Mnonopi had provided the commission with a medical certificate when she was supposed to appear before it.

“It may be once; it may be twice before … it is concerning. Each time she is required to appear she suffers depression, but you will look into the issue.

“I understand the issue of Covid-19, there are many people who are affected,” he added.

Mnonopi’s legal representative said they would oblige to the request for her to be tested for depression by the commission’s medical experts.

She was implicated by former deputy minister Mcebisi Jonas in his evidence to the commission.

Jonas claimed Mnonopi tried to “kill” a case in which one of the Gupta brothers, Ajay Gupta, was accused of trying to bribe him with R600 million and a ministerial post.

Mnonopi was then suspended from the specialised policing unit following the damning claims.

Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya told City Press at the time she was served with a suspension based on the allegations that she interfered with investigations and acted without impartiality.

However, according to TimesLive, Mnonopi is back on the job and had been cleared in an internal investigation.

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