Minister of Communications Siphiwe Nyanda before taking the witness stand at the Zondo Commission during the afternoon session. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - General Siphiwe Nyanda wants former president Jacob Zuma to account for the statements he made about him at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

This after Zuma had on his first day of testimony claimed that Nyanda was an apartheid-era spy.

Zuma told the commission of an Umkhonto weSizwe operative, named Ralph, who worked for the security branch and the Swazi police.

He said Ralph was rescued in an attack by his handlers before he was interrogated by the party in Mozambique.

According to Zuma, Ralph was instructed by the apartheid police to hug somebody to indicate that he was innocent.

"The information was that hug was arranged by police and the somebody to hug him was given an instruction to do so. That was general General Siphiwe Nyanda," he said.

Nyanda has since refuted the spy claims and indicated he was considering applying to cross-examine the former president.

Born in 1950, Nyanda joined Umkhonto we Sizwe  (MK) in 1974 and became MK chief of staff in 1992.

He served as the chief of staff for South African National Defence Force Staff from 1994 until 2005.

After a stint in business, Nyanda, a son of Zuma's allies became a minister of communications in 2009 until he was axed in 2010.

He subsequently became one of Zuma's critics and questioned his links with the Gupta family.

Responding to the spay allegations this week, Nyanda could not hide his shock.

"It’s strange for him to say these things when I was part of his campaign to gain ascendance to the leadership of the African National Congress and the country, and it astounds me,” he told EWN.

Speaking to News24, Nyanda said he believed Zuma had a vendetta against him because he had called for his removal after former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her findings against him.

"He is bitter because of the consistency we exhibited, because of our stance when state capture was in the public glare.

Nyanda insisted that he was among the senior commanders who urged the ANC undertake an independent inquiry into the affairs of the Guptas.

He and Ngoako Ramatlhodi, also accused by Zuma of being a spy, have since received backing from the  MKMVA Council, which is critical of Zuma.

But, MKMVA spokesperson Carl Niehaus dismissed the MKMVA Council as a renegade illegal structure.

"We have not at all rejected the evidence that President Zuma presented to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture," Niehaus said on Wednesday.

He also said the ANC should establish a commission of inquiry as a matter of urgency "to investigate the very serious issues of spies and counter revolutionaries who have infiltrated the ANC".

Political Bureau