Former South African president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission. Picture: Pool Photo via AP
Former South African president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission. Picture: Pool Photo via AP

Jacob Zuma thanks Zondo commission for intervention

By Getrude Makhafola Time of article published Jul 19, 2019

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Johannesburg - After informing the commission of inquiry into state capture that he was withdrawing from testifying before it, preferring to approach the courts for recourse, former South African president Jacob Zuma on Friday changed his mind and agreed to return at a later stage to continue his testimony.

Commission chairman, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo intervened to resolve the standoff between Zuma's legal team and evidence leader Paul Pretorius after Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, for Zuma, threatened to withdraw his client from the proceedings and take the inquiry to court for what he called the unfair treatment his client was receiving.

Zondo announced that the parties agreed to have Zuma furnished with documents indicating the scope of evidence to be interrogated when he returns in two weeks' time.

"The decision that the former president would no longer participate is withdrawn. I've been told that Mr Zuma indicated he wishes to continue to cooperate with the commission and the legal team. It has been agreed that the way in which Mr Zuma's concerns may be taken care of. The legal team will indicate to Mr Zuma's legal team what their areas of interests are in each witness' affidavits and that thereafter Mr Zuma's team would provide a statement on what he has to say regarding each witness' statement," said Zondo.

"This will help because each witness deals with a number of things...counsel for Mr Zuma and the commission's team will meet within the next two weeks and give him the document on what Mr Zuma should give evidence about. It is contemplated in this agreement that he will come back at a certain stage and give evidence."

Zuma thanked Zondo for helping find a resolution, saying that him raising concerns at the inquiry did not mean he wanted to disrupt the commission's work.

"Thank you for your intervention that arrived to a certain point to continue. I think its everyone's right to raise concerns if there are any. I think its in the interest of all of us to address issues facing this country in whatever form. I think no one should have a wrong impression that raising concerns was done to cause disruptions. I am happy that this commission will be able to move to its finality. I just wanted to say thanks for the intervention."

The commission will sit on Monday to hear evidence on corruption related to the Free State Estina diary farm project.

African News Agency (ANA)

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