South Africa 10.9.2018 01:45 pm

Duduzane Zuma to testify at Zondo inquiry after all

Duduzane Zuma, son of former South African president Jacob Zuma. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Duduzane Zuma, son of former South African president Jacob Zuma. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

The former president’s son has made a complete turnaround, with his legal team saying that he will now attest to his story at the commission.

Evidence leader at the commission of inquiry into state capture, advocate Paul Pretorius, confirmed on Monday that in a letter sent to the inquiry by Duduzane Zuma’s legal team, he has agreed to testify with regard to the testimony given by former finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

Previously, the lawyers of the former president’s son said that he would not testify.

His testimony will be the first by one of the inner circle of those implicated in evidence that has come out at the inquiry.

Last week, Duduzane’s lawyers failed to convince deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo that he should not testify.

Senior counsel Dawie Joubert told the commission that Duduzane would not be able to give evidence before the inquiry “because of pending parallel criminal charges he is facing at the commercial crimes court”.

Zondo said, “I cannot understand that he will not give evidence because he faces criminal charges on the same issue. He has already given us his affidavit. If he could not have given us his version, it would have been different.”

He said when Duduzane submitted his affidavit to the commission, he did not indicate he would not testify before the inquiry.

“If he is subpoenaed to appear, he may reconsider his stance,” said Joubert.

READ MORE: No reason Duduzane can’t testify at commission – Zondo

Joubert said Duduzane was “unfairly arrested” when he recently landed at OR Tambo International Airport upon arrival in South Africa.

“We live in a constitutional state and we did not know why he was arrested,” argued Joubert, who also represents Rajesh Gupta.

Zondo said there were “many people in this country who get arrested, subject themselves to the legal system and get protection”.

“As a country, we cannot have a police service that is perfect. Hence, we have constitutional checks and balances,” Zondo added.

Duduzane and the Guptas have applied for leave to cross-examine Jonas.

Representing the former finance minister, senior counsel Alfred Cockrell submitted that his client should not be cross-examined by Duduzane, the Guptas, and former cabinet minister Lynne Brown.

“My client Mcebisi Jonas opposes any cross-examination by Duduzane, because he has indicated that he won’t testify before the commission,” said Cockrell.

“We also oppose an application by Lynne Brown because she has not been implicated by Mr Jonas’ testimony. We oppose cross-examination by the Guptas because they won’t come to South Africa to testify.”

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