Former president Jacob Zuma today said he was “applying his mind” to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s request that he answer to the damning state capture allegations against him by witnesses.
Zuma, who had told university students on Wednesday that there was no state capture in South Africa, said he had cooperated with the Zondo-led commission. He said it seemed his option not to quiz witnesses was seen as lack of cooperation from him.
“We find this very unfortunate since the former president has sent his legal representatives to every sitting of the commission where the alleged evidence which may implicate him was being given. Furthermore, he has honoured all the commission’s requests brought to him through his legal team,” read his press statement sent by his legal team.
The former president said he respected the commission and wanted to “participate meaningfully” in the inquiry.
“He reiterates this position and therefore he will apply his mind over the invite and shall convey his reply to the chairman of the commission as soon as he has consulted with his team.”
Zondo said he has requested Zuma through his lawyers to submit an affidavit stating his side of the story as he was implicated by former member of parliament Vytjie Mentor and former government spin doctor Themba Maseko.
The two witnesses placed Zuma and the controversial Guptas at the centre of state capture and corruption.
Maseko testified that he received a call from Zuma to “help the Guptas” ahead of his meeting with them at their Saxonwold compound. He said Ajay ordered him to channel government’s R600 million advertising budget to the family’s media holdings, The New Age newspaper and ANN7 news channel.
He further said that the Guptas asked him to inform them if any ministers or their officials resisted, so that he could tell then president Zuma to “deal with them”.
– African News Agency (ANA)