Jacob Zuma

Former president Jacob Zuma
Image Source: Flickr/GCIS

Zondo to address Jacob Zuma’s State Capture Commission snub

Former president Jacob Zuma was set to appear on Monday, 21 September 2020, however his lawyer said he had more pressing matters like his arms deal case, to attend to

Jacob Zuma

Former president Jacob Zuma
Image Source: Flickr/GCIS

Former president Jacob Zuma was set to take the stand at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry on Monday, 21 September 2020 – however he’ll be giving it a miss, having initially cited the need to concentrate on his legal issues. This prompted a series of questions surrounding when and whether Zuma will ever appear again before the commission. The commission’s chairperson, Raymond Zondo will finally put an end to the speculation and murmurs as he is expected to give an official response to the queries.

In a statement, the commission said Zondo would either issue a statement, address the media or update the public at the start of the proceedings.

Zuma’s lawyer: ‘Inquiry treating him with disdain’

Msholozi’s lawyer Eric Mabuza told the inquiry that his client would not be appearing as scheduled, as he is gearing up for probably one of the biggest trials of his life – the arms deal case.

“Jacob Zuma is preparing for his much-anticipated criminal trial, the importance of which cannot be over-emphasized. It is rather unfair to expect him to also consider evidence and affidavits of more than 30 [State Capture Inquiry] witnesses,” Mabuza once said.

“The Zondo Commission’s ‘threat’ to subpoena Jacob Zuma to testify only serves to demonstrate the disdain with which the State Capture Inquiry’s legal team treats former President Zuma.”

The former president was initially set to appear back in January 2020, however he was reportedly too ill. His first appearance was in July 2019, but he dropped them after only two days of testimony. He was being grilled about the appointment of Siyabonga Gama as Transnet CEO despite him facing serious charges.

Zuma accused the commission of being unfair for expecting him to remember details of certain events.

“I have a problem because I’m being made to go through the details that are the details of the officials and expected to remember every other detail on the work that is generally done by the DGs and other officials,” he said.

The former president’s then lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane said he had been brought to proceedings under false pretenses.

“Now I need him to make up his mind whether he wants to be cross-examined because it is clear, it’s just been confirmed, that he is being cross-examined,” he said.

Zuma is considered one of the central figures in the greater ‘state capture project’, having been accused of helping the controversial Gupta family, loot from critical state entities including Eskom, South African Airways (SAA), the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and a series of other initiatives and projects spearheaded by government.