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WRAP | Zuma to challenge Zondo Report, plans to go to JSC

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Former South African president Jacob Zuma.
Former South African president Jacob Zuma.
EMMANUEL CROSET / AFP

EDITOR'S NOTE | We have decided to suspend the live stream from the briefing by the Zuma Foundation. The briefing conducted by his spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, contains various untested allegations and falsehoods related to the Zondo Commission, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, and the establishment of the commission. We will continue to cover the briefing and point out Manyi's inconsistencies in the statement he is currently delivering.

- Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor.

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25 June 14:34

The briefing has concluded. 

25 June 14:29

Mpofu clarifies that he is not here to represent the JG Zuma Foundation but Zuma as his client. He won't be taking on the appointment of Zondo as Chief Justice on behalf of the foundation.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 14:29

COMMENT | The briefing has descended into an airing of pure conspiracy theories. Manyi says the Zuma Foundation will challenge the appointment of Zondo as chief justice - because the JSC recommended someone else. Of course, the president has the power to appoint the chief justice.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 14:27

Manyi now saying that Zuma's legal team might also be challenging the appointment of Zondo as Chief Justice, he says it may have been irrational.

“How could the president have overlooked the choice of the JSC."

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 14:27

COMMENT | Also note that Zuma was jailed for contempt of the Constitutional Court

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 14:25

COMMENT | Three things must be noted: (1) Zuma established the commission of inquiry (2) he was given the opportunity to testify, but "fled" the commission and (3) all his applications to force the chief justice to recuse himself, have failed. Manyi, as Zuma and his supporters do, obfuscates and blusters.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 14:22

Despite numerous failed court applications by his legal team, former president Jacob Zuma's daughter says she still maintains “100% confidence” in the team.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 14:17

COMMENT | Manyi is at great pains to again point out that no witnesses before Zondo implicated Zuma - he claims there is no tangible evidence. Of course, there is a lot of evidence contained in the Zondo reports, and that is why it is so important for Zuma to try and discredit the report, and Zondo, as an individual.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 14:12

Manyi argues that none of the many state capture witnesses directly implicated former president Jacob Zuma.

He defends the former president saying “help these Gupta boys".

Manyi says this is conjecture cause help could have meant anything.

“There is nothing corrupt about this,” says Manyi.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 14:08

President Zuma has no regrets regarding his expansion of the terms and reference, even though this act was the very reason why his party and most senior members were outed as being complicit in state capture.

Manyi says Zuma is okay with those involved in corruption being exposed even though they are his comrades or his own party. 

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:50

COMMENT | Zuma is the consummate victim. He has never accepted responsibility for his actions, and the briefing by Manyi is more of the same. Zuma is still claiming he is the victim of a biased process, which is untrue - Zuma chose to flee the commission when Zondo wanted to provide him repeated opportunities to state his case.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 13:48

COMMENT | Manyi and the Zuma Foundation are delivering a political statement in defence of Zuma, launching attacks against the judiciary, CJ Zondo and President Cyril Ramaphosa. He offers no evidence of anything he is saying, including allegations against the chief justice.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 13:46

Manyi says Zuma has advised his legal team to report Chief Justice Zondo to the Judicial Services Commission for how he handled the commission. Manyi also added that Zuma has asked his legal team to also take the State Capture Inquiry findings on review.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:45

EDITOR'S NOTE | We have decided to suspend the live stream from the briefing by the Zuma Foundation. The briefing conducted by his spokesperson, Mzwanele Manyi, contains various untested allegations and falsehoods related to the Zondo Commission, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, and the establishment of the commission. We will continue to cover the briefing and point out Manyi's inconsistencies in the statement he is currently delivering.

- Pieter du Toit, Assistant Editor.

25 June 13:41

Manyi describes the Zondo Commission as “an unlawful report, of an unlawful commission”. He goes on to say that “it is not clear what the commission did for the past two years and after spending nearly R2 billion".

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:38

“In a further act of bullying and an abuse of power, Zondo complained to his colleagues in the constitutional court about Zuma's conduct instead of approaching law enforcement… it was, therefore, Zondo who acted untowardly and not Zuma,” says Manyi.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:37

COMMENT | Manyi just called Zuma a "law-abiding citizen", forgetting it seems that Zuma is on parole for a conviction for contempt of court.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 13:37

Manyi reiterates that Zondo downplayed his proximity to former President Zuma.

He goes on to claim that the new Chief Justice was therefore not the suitable candidate to oversee the state capture commission.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:36

COMMENT | Manyi is again raising the claims that Zuma and Zondo were friends. This has already been litigated, and Zuma ended up in jail for contempt for refusing to cooperate with the Zondo Commission - using false claims of Zondo's bias as the foundation for his claims he would be unfairly treated.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 13:35

COMMENT | Manyi proceeds to launch personal attacks on Zondo. This is full-on populism.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 13:35

Manyi says Zondo was directly affected and yet presided over the commission which makes the entire process unlawful. He also adds that President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also implicated, received the report and this is also questionable.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:34

COMMENT | Manyi explains they object to the report on the basis that a Chief Justice has no power to appoint the head of a commission of inquiry. It must be reiterated that Zuma appointed the commission and that the commission was enacted under his signature.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 13:33

JG Zuma Spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi is reading the statement from the former president.

He says the commission was flawed from the onset with the unlawful appointment of the commission chair. He says it is therefore not possible for the findings to be lawful.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:33

COMMENT | Zuma calls the Zondo Report "unlawful" and "irrational". As he has done throughout his political career, he will proceed to attack the integrity of processes and individuals. There is no doubt he will now proceed to embark on an extended legal journey, as he had done with his corruption charges.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 13:30

Zuma's daughter Duduzile Zuma also confirms that the former president is in Johannesburg and “wanted to be here but could not do so following the advice from his legal team.”

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:29

Mpofu says Zuma's legal team has gotten permission for the former president to attend so long as he did not engage with the media but his legal team saw it fit for him to no longer attend due to his parole conditions.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:28

Mpofu extends apologies on behalf of the former president, he said Zuma is in Johannesburg. But was advised not to come due to his parole conditions

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:27

Advocate Mpofu says over the past two days the legal teams were in consultation with the former president over the various cases that he is facing. They thought it necessary to hold this briefing regarding the steps to be taken by Zuma regarding the Zondo findings.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:22

Despite numerous assurances that Zuma would be at the briefing in person, it does not look like he will be attending.Only his legal, comms team and daughter will be at the briefing.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:21

COMMENT | Zuma's daughter, Duduzile, is also here. She was an instigator of violence on social media almost exactly a year ago when the former president was sent to jail.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 13:19

Zuma's legal team has just made their way into the venue, proceedings are expected to start shortly

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 13:12

We will now be starting "promptly" at 13.30 pm.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 13:08

Mzwanele Manyi, the spokesperson of the JG Zuma Foundation, is now addressing the media. He has apologised for the delay and said things will get underway shortly.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 13:05

COMMENT | Zuma has always tried to say his leaving the commission was because he is the victim. I expect more of the same today. But the truth is obviously that he feared what he would be asked to respond to.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 13:01

COMMENT | And remember, Kyle, he "fled" (Zondo's word) the commission without being excused and without responding to the allegations put to him.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 13:00

COMMENT | The paragraph quoted by Pieter stood out to all of us in the office as we sat reading the report. It's a singularly damning indictment of a former president, a person who took an oath to uphold the law and the Constitution. Zuma has failed the country on all fronts - and the Zondo reports, over 5 500 pages, are evidence of his betrayal. But he has never accepted responsibility, instead he infamously asked, what have I done? Zondo has now explained it in excruciating detail. 

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 12:57

News24 subscribers have exclusive access to rewatch our webinar on the state capture report, which was hosted yesterday by editor-in-chief Adriaan Basson. 

Political editor Qaanitah Hunter, assistant editor for in-depth news, Pieter du Toit, and investigative journalist Sipho Masondo had a riveting discussion on Zondo's damning findings and the corrective measures proposed by him to ensure South Africa closes the door on Zuma-era corruption, for good. 

WATCH IT HERE

25 June 12:54

COMMENT | This is arguably the most devastating paragraph in the whole of the Zondo Report, in my view. It encapsulates the devious and utterly cynical nature of Zuma's scheming with the Guptas - and against the interests of South Africans.

"Central to the Guptas’ scheme of state capture was President Zuma who the Guptas must have identified at a very early stage as somebody whose character was such that they could use him against the people of South Africa, his own country and his own government to advance their own business interests and President Zuma readily opened the doors for the Guptas to go into the SOEs and help themselves to the money and assets of the people of South Africa." - Paragraph 2494, Part 4, Volume 4 (Eskom).

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 12:50

Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi confirms to News24 that he is making his way to the venue and would be here by 1 pm. He again confirms that the former president will be here in person.

“Proceedings will start as soon as I get there,” said Manyi.

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 12:49

The view from the other side of the table - this is what Zuma will see when he sits to address the media.  (Kyle Cowan)
The view from the other side of the table - this is what Zuma will see when he sits to address the media.  (Kyle Cowan)

25 June 12:46

COMMENT | It may seem like griping, but if you have called a press briefing and you don't actually even have your statement lined up - it's a trademark of the entire Zuma administration's legacy and how policy was sort of never on time, or for the right reasons.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 12:43

Proceedings are a bit delayed as Zuma, and his legal and communications teams are understood to be finalising the statement he is expected to deliver this afternoon. Word from Zuma’s camp is that the briefing is expected to get under way just after 1 pm

- Juniour Khumalo

25 June 12:40

COMMENT: It will be interesting to see how the media questions are managed and if we actually get an opportunity to ask any, whether Zuma will be direct or ramble about this and that. There is also little expectation that Zuma will actually be on time. Briefing was scheduled to start at 12.30.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 12:39

COMMENT | Correct, Kyle. And we're going to have to call him out on lies and obfuscation. There will be some or other attempt to diminish the judiciary and link a conspiracy to the chief justice. It's been his style for as long as we can remember.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 12:37

COMMENT | There are a thousand questions we'd like to ask Zuma. But we're not expecting a proper engagement, to be honest. He fled the Commission in the middle of testimony, so there's no reason to think he'd engage honestly and in earnest. We are however keen to put some pointed issues on the table.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 12:37

COMMENT | That's right, Pieter. We have come down on a rainy Saturday. I am expecting quite a bit of conspiracy, and a good deal of Zondo-bashing and we are also likely to hear about a captured judiciary. I think there will be some veiled pot-shots at Ramaphosa as well. But in terms of Zuma engaging with the substance of the Zondo reports, very little hope.

- Kyle Cowan

25 June 12:34

COMMENT | We're at the Sandton Lodge in Johannesburg, just off Rivonia Road where we're waiting for former president Jacob Zuma to address the media in reaction to the Zondo Commission report. Political reporter Juniour Khumalo, investigative reporter Kyle Cowan and myself will be covering this event - but with very little hope of any substantial response from Zuma.

- Pieter du Toit

25 June 12:26

Media set up and waiting for the former president to arrive. (Pieter du Toit)
Media set up and waiting for the former president to arrive. (Pieter du Toit)

25 June 12:01

THROWBACK: Justice Sisi Khampepe swears in David Douglas "Des" van Rooyen as Minister of Finance while President Jacob Zuma looks on at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. He was later redeployed to be Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional. (GCIS)

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