Jacob Zuma agrees to appear before Zondo commission
Johannesburg - Embattled former president Jacob Zuma has replied to the state capture commission of inquiry agreeing to appear on dates set for next month, the Commission said on Tuesday.
"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 (20 June 2019), the Commission hereby announces that yesterday [Monday] afternoon, 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 said in a statement.
"The Commission notes the undertaking."
Earlier, Zuma's lawyer Daniel Mantsha gave no guarantee that Zuma would take the hot seat or answer questions, instead repeating a request that his client be furnished with a list of questions.
Daily newspaper Business Day reported that in a letter to the commission chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, Mantsha maintained that it was biased against his client and "lacks the requisite impartiality".
Following the exchange of correspondence with Zuma’s attorneys over six weeks, during which it asked the former president for a written undertaking to appear before it without success, the commission last week set aside a week in July for Zuma to attend. It dismissed his request to get a list of the questions he would be asked beforehand.
Zuma, who enjoys enormous support in his KwaZulu-Natal home province, has reiterated publicly that he has done nothing wrong, despite mounting evidence at the inquiry of alleged corruption and state capture while he was president.
Zuma is accused of allowing his friends, the Gupta brothers, to run amok and pocket hundreds of millions of rands in state contracts. The fugitive Guptas left South Africa in haste in 2016 as their leaked emails, dubbed GuptaLeaks, revealed the extent of the rot perpetuated in government and state-owned enterprises.
African News Agency (ANA)