Yet he has done everything possible not to have his day in court. Exhilarated by his son, Duduzane Zuma’s acquittal of the culpable homicide and reckless driving charges on Friday, tomorrow he heads to the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture to give testimony or his side of the story.
He has been linked to allegations of state capture by several witnesses, including former Government Communication and Information System head Themba Maseko, former MP Vytjie Mentor, former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and former Bosasa (now African Global Operations) chief operations officer Angelo Agrizzi.
Many of his supporters are expected to be bused in “to support him”, which has become the norm at his court appearances.
In May during Agrizzi’s testimony, the former president addressed his supporters after his court appearance and cautioned those who called for the (Zondo) inquiry: “If only they listened to me. Things are bad now. Agrizzi has never implicated Zuma. He was just speculating, But for others, he says I gave so and so this much, there is proof.”
There is little to expect from Zuma’s testimony if his dealings with the law are anything to go by. This is a man who thrives on being desultory and coy. Zuma has expressed where he stands with the commission, labelling it biased, “politicised” and lacking impartiality, and that it is under the control of forces he has failed to name. It’s a little wonder why he acquiesced to appear before it. Attempts by his attorney, Daniel Mantsha, to get in advance questions that will be put to him were unsuccessful.
This may set the tone for Zuma to insist that he has come to the commission ill-prepared, as he does not know the scope of questions put to him. He may also claim to have no recollection of certain events.
Zuma’s appearance in the commission will give the public his understanding of state capture, in his own words.
It’s a great opportunity for him to respond to all the allegations he’s been implicated in and to spill the beans, as he has always promised. South Africans deserve nothing less.