Johannesburg - "I have been provoked and provoked to the last degree."
These were the chilling words of former president Jacob Zuma on the first day of his appearance before the State Capture Inquiry, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Zuma's appearance comes months after a standoff with the commission, which he has accused of being biased and lacking the "requisite impartiality".
The former president, speaking before a room packed with supporters, used the morning to share his side of the story and his reservations about the formation and work of the commission.
“You’ll realise that me as an individual, I’ve been a subject of talk in this country for more than a decade. I’ve been vilified, alleged to be the king of corrupt people. I’m the most corrupt, I've been given every other name and I’ve never responded.