Zondo commission confirms Jacob Zuma will appear before it in July

2019-06-25 08:51
Former president Jacob Zuma will appear before the state capture commission, a report has confirmed. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24, file)

Former president Jacob Zuma will appear before the state capture commission, a report has confirmed. (Felix Dlangamandla, Netwerk24, file)

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UPDATE: The Zondo commission of inquiry looking into allegations of state capture has confirmed that former president Jacob Zuma will appear before the commission as a witness in July.

Media reports on Tuesday said Zuma was expected to appear before the inquiry from July 15-19, but it was unclear whether he would testify or cross-examine any witnesses who implicated him in state capture.

"Following upon the commission's correspondence addressed to the attorneys representing the former president, Mr Jacob Zuma, and the media statement issued on Thursday last week, the commission hereby announces that yesterday afternoon (Monday) it received a written undertaking from Mr Zuma through his attorneys that he will appear before it on 15 to 19 July 2019.

"The commission notes the undertaking," the acting secretary on behalf of chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said on Tuesday.

Earlier on Tuesday, Zuma's lawyer, Dan Mantsha, told News24 that he sent a letter to commission chairperson Zondo, confirming his client's appearance, who was "relishing the moment."

READ: 'He is relishing the moment' - Zuma 'can't wait' to attend state capture commission

In June, the commission sent Zuma's legal team a follow-up letter imploring them to indicate whether he would agree to appear before the inquiry in July. The letter was written by the commission's acting secretary, Peter Pedlar.

Last Thursday, the commission said Zuma could not receive the questions he would be asked, News24 reported.

The commission said it was "enough that he has been told that he will be afforded an opportunity to state his side of the story in response to what certain identified witnesses have said in their statements or affidavits or evidence about him or against him".

READ: Jacob's ladder: These are the hurdles Jacob Zuma will face at Zondo commission

Zuma, who signed the inquiry into law when he was state president, has questioned the commission's involvement in a wider political agenda against him, saying it was singling him out "publicly and in an unprecedented way".

News24 earlier reported that it was increasingly likely that the commission will have to resort to employing its wide ranging powers to compel Zuma to provide an affidavit, or appear before the commission as requested.

The commission asked Zuma - on at least three occasions since April last year - to provide a written undertaking that he will appear before it between July 15 and 19. It also requested that he provide an affidavit by June 12.

MUST READ: Zondo vs Zuma: What state capture commission can do now

Zuma has been linked to allegations of state capture by several witnesses, including former Government Communication and Information System boss Themba Maseko, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, ex-finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, current ministers Pravin Gordhan and Fikile Mbalula, and former Bosasa (now African Global Operations) operations chief Angelo Agrizzi.

The commission heard that Zuma allowed the Gupta brothers to influence the appointment of ministers, giving them access to the coffers of state-owned enterprises.

But Zuma repeatedly said there was no evidence against him.

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Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  state capture  |  politics
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