Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - All eyes will this week be on the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture as it prepares to hear the high-anticipated testimony of former president Jacob Zuma. 

Zuma will appear before the commission between July 15 - July 19 where he is expected to give his testimony and respond to damning allegations of impropriety and malfeasance.

While South Africa waits with bated breath for the former president to finally have his day, a relaxed Zuma took to social media to mock his detractors a day ahead of his appearance.

Zuma's reluctant appearance before the commission, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, comes after months of giving the commission the runaround regarding his willingness to testify. 

The commission wrote to Zuma's lawyers back in April 2019, asking them to furnish it with a written undertaking that the client will appear on the given dates.
Zuma, instead of responding to the commission's request, then insisted that he be furnished in advance with the questions that he will be asked on the witness stand before he can consider whether to give the required undertaking. 

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This request was denied by the commission, which said that it was enough that Zuma had been told that he will be afforded an opportunity to state his side of the story. 

Zuma, following a heated back and forth with the inquiry, during which he accused the commission of being biased against him and lacking the "requisite impartiality", finally agreed to appear before DCJ Zondo. 

Zuma has been implicated by several witnesses who have appeared before the commission in recent months. Among those who implicated him were former Public Service and Administration minister Ngoako Ramathlodi and former government spokesperson, Themba Maseko.  

More recently, former officials from SA Airways and government departments implicated the former president in acts of malfeasance, including the controversial landing of a Gupta chartered plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base in April 2013.

While it remains unclear if Zuma will use the commission to finally reveal his version of events, having denied the existence of state capture on numerous occasions, Zuma has earlier revealed that he supported the commission and intended to fully cooperate with its work.

Meanwhile, Zuma's supporters are expected to come in their numbers to rally behind the former president, with the Black First Land First planning to attend the hearings in support of Zuma.

IOL