Former South African president Jacob Zuma attends the state commission that is probing wide-ranging allegations of corruption. Picture: Pool Photo via AP

Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma's continued appearance at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture hangs in the balance after his legal team accused the commission of bringing their client before it "under false pretences".

Zuma returned to the commission, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, following a lunch break and took the opportunity to voice his complaint with being questioned on issues ordinarily handled by officials or departmental director-generals. 

"I have a problem because I'm being made to go through the details of the officials and expected to remember every other detail on the work that is generally done by DGs and officials.

"I'm not an officer or Cabinet secretary. The manner in which I'm being asked questioned on the details I can't even remember properly, I was not working on these details. Now naturally, this will have its own results. The results that will make the commission to take some conclusions."

While Zondo was at pains to explain that Zuma was entitled to respond to questions relating to issues he had little knowledge of by saying he doesn't know, this did not sit well with Zuma, who insisted that he had already responded to Hogan's claim regarding Siyabonga Gama's appointment as Transnet CEO. 

"I'm being cross-examined, very thoroughly, and I don't know what will be the outcome of that. 

"Even if I've given the answer, we're still going into details. For me, what other answer must I give that would make the commission satisfied?"

Following some back and forth, Zuma's legal representative Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane requested an adjournment to consult his client over whether he wanted to be cross-examined. 

"I have a view that my client has been brought in here under false pretenses and now I need him to make up his mind whether he wants to be cross-examined because it is clear he is being cross-examined. 

"All I am asking chair, I am going to repeat the things I have said to you and Mr Pretorius but for now, I have advised my client to respect this process, come here, cooperate. I want him to consider that position because I think I advised him on bona fide and I do not think I was right."

Zondo granted the adjournment, a move met by applause by Zuma's supporters. 

The inquiry continues.

IOL