Zuma: No evidence produced to prove corrupt relationship between the Guptas and I

Former President Jacob Zuma at the State Capture Commission in Parktown, 16 July 2019. Picture Neil McCartney

Former President Jacob Zuma at the State Capture Commission in Parktown, 16 July 2019. Picture Neil McCartney

The former president questions what he had done to be labelled as a corrupt individual.

Former president Jacob Zuma told his supporters outside the venue of the commission of inquiry into state capture in Johannesburg that not a single person has produced evidence that proved he had a corrupt relationship with the Guptas.

Zuma was addressing his supporters after proceedings were adjourned at the commission on Friday.

The chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, said Zuma would return at the commission at a time that would be agreed on.

The decision followed deliberations between Zuma’s legal counsel and the commission’s legal team.

Zuma’s legal counsel had earlier announced that the former president would no longer participate in the commission because of the manner in which Zuma had been asked to appear before it and how he had been questioned during proceedings this week.

This led Zondo to meet in chambers with the two teams and an agreement was reached that the commission’s legal team would indicate to Zuma’s legal counsel what the commission’s areas of interest were in each witness statement it would like the former president to give evidence on.

After the proceedings, Zuma told his supporters that he would return to the commission “to deal with the matters”.

The former president repeated what he said at the commission on Monday, that his appearance before it was part of a protracted plan targeting him.

He further repeated that this plan had been hatched because he had knowledge of apartheid spies within the governing African National Congress (ANC). The ANC should deal with this issue, Zuma added.

He recalled an incident where the late secretary-general of the South African Communist Party, Chris Hani, was meant to be assassinated while in Lesotho “during the struggle”. The plan was halted by the then general of the South African Defence Force when it was learned that Hani was at home with his children.

“The interesting question is who had given information to the Boers at that time? Who had sold Chris Hani? Maybe one day that question will be answered,” Zuma said.

The former president also repeated what he had told Zondo on Monday that there had been numerous attempts at his life, adding that a number of items had been found on a state aeroplane he used as president, which were meant to ensure he did not reach his destination. Zuma said he would at a later stage reveal these items.

“It is not a fairy tale,” Zuma said.

He thanked the crowd for the “warming” and  “comforting” support they had shown.

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