South Africa 13.9.2018 11:56 am

Zondo invites Zuma to tell his side of the story on state capture

Zondo says he has invited Zuma’s lawyers to offer the former president’s version of events in an affidavit.

The chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, said he has invited former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyers to offer Zuma’s version of events in an affidavit to the commission.

Zuma was implicated by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor when she appeared before the commission, testifying that the former president was at the Gupta compound when she was allegedly offered a ministerial position.

Zondo said he had invited Zuma’s lawyers to submit the affidavit after he had granted the former president’s son Duduzane an opportunity to cross-examine former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

The commission’s chair dismissed the Gupta brothers’ application to cross-examine Jonas, Mentor and the former Government Communications Information Systems boss Themba Maseko on the basis that they were not willing to physically and personally appear before the commission within the country’s borders.

Meanwhile, Zuma on Wednesday denied the existence of state capture, despite setting up the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture in the first place.

READ MORE: Zuma denies existence of state capture

Zuma was speaking to students at Walter Sisulu University when he questioned which of the three arms of government, the executive, parliament and judiciary, had been captured.

“There is no state that is captured; the judiciary is not captured; parliament is not captured. So where is the state capture?” Zuma asked.

“There is no state capture in [South Africa]; there are people who did things to others, but there is no such thing called state capture. Let us not swallow everything that is given to us.”

He said ‘state capture’ was a “politically decorated phrase, which had its intentions”.

It was reported last week that the elder Zuma’s attorney had submitted a letter to the commission expressing their viewpoint that none of the testimony given by Mcebisi Jonas, Vytjie Mentor, Phumla Williams, or Themba Maseko implicated him in crimes.

Zuma’s lawyers said they were “satisfied” that the testimony had not shown that any laws were broken by their client.

Attorney Daniel Mantsha wrote: “We are satisfied that nothing in the aforementioned witnesses’ statements implicates or may implicate our client in the infringement of the aforementioned statutes‚ policies of government, and relevant ethical codes.”

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