MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus and former Cogta minister Des van Rooyen. Picture: Khanyisile Ngcobo/IOL

Johannesburg - uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) spokesperson Carl Niehaus says he doesn't believe former president Jacob Zuma is guilty of state capture, blaming the media for pre-judging Zuma. 

Niehaus was speaking ahead of the highly-anticipated appearance of Zuma, who's expected to give testimony before the commission from July 15-19. 

Zuma has been implicated by several high-profile figures, who've all accused him of playing a central role in state capture, and of benefiting by facilitating the looting of state coffers by the Gupta family.

Those who implicated him included former Cabinet spokesperson Themba Maseko, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, among others.

Niehaus, speaking to Independent Media on the sidelines of the commission, said he believed the concept of state capture had been misused.

Niehaus also said he, along with MKMVA members, had turned up at the commission to support the former president as a friend. 

"We support him also as the former commander-in-chief of uMkhonto weSizwe and we support him as a comrade who had dedicated his life to the struggle.

"On a personal level, he's been there for me throughout my life and I cannot see why I should not be here for him."

Niehaus also took a swipe at the media, saying the tendency to "pre-judge" the former president stemmed from the media itself.

"In some ways, I sometimes feel that we are getting kangaroo courts by the media and that the general public atmosphere has been poisoned to such an extent that it is very difficult for [former] president Jacob Zuma to get a fair hearing."

The commission is expected to get underway at 10 am. While security was tight at the commission, the thousands of supporters expected to be bussed in were nowhere to be seen.

IOL