Zuma set to make his return to the Zondo commission next week

CONSPIRACIES Former president Jacob Zuma at the commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla
CONSPIRACIES Former president Jacob Zuma at the commission of inquiry into state capture. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla

Former president Jacob Zuma will resume his testimony before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on Monday, November 11.

The Zondo commission confirmed on Tuesday that dates had been set for Zuma to continue with his testimony from for next week, with the proceedings expected to last the whole week.

“The former president will continue his testimony before the commission from November 11 to 15,” read the statement sent by commission spokesperson Mbuyiselo Stemela.

Zuma was initially meant to appear before the commission last week, but asked for a postponement as he had matters relating to his corruption case to attend to.

Proceedings came to a sudden halt in July when Zuma’s legal team announced that its client would no longer be a “willingly participant” before the Zondo commission until the commission’s legal team could assure Zuma’s lawyers that it would address his concerns.

The former president’s major bone of contention was the fact that he was not furnished with the questions that the commission’s evidence leader would be asking him prior to his appearance before the commission.

This was rectified through a compromise which saw the commission’s legal team being instructed by commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to give Zuma’s legal team the areas of interest which he would be cross-examined on, instead of the exact questions.

The commission finally released the areas of interest last month. According to the 11-page document, Zuma will be asked to respond to allegations put forward by advocate Thabani Masuku, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, former health minister and that of public enterprises Barbara Hogan, former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, advocate Mahlodi Sam Muofhe, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and former Bosasa chief executive officer (CEO) Angelo Agrizzi during their testimonies before the commission.

Also of particular interest to the inquiry will be Zuma’s connections with the Gupta family, which allegedly led to the establishment of the New Age Newspaper and the ANN 7 television news channel.

The removal of Mentor as chair of the parliamentary portfolio committee on public enterprises, which was done via the Cabinet reshuffle at the end of October 2010, will also form part of the areas of interest.

The commission will also interrogate Zuma’s role and circumstances surrounding the attempts to have Siyabonga Gama appointed as Transnet CEO and his subsequent appointment as CEO of Transnet Freight Rail.

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