Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has accused state capture-accused Duduzane Zuma of lying at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and trying to divert attention from the allegations against him.
Zuma yesterday claimed he was never given an opportunity to respond to the allegations made against him by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, contained in Madonsela’s State of Capture report.
Madonsela said Zuma was given numerous opportunities to respond to the allegations before the report was released, from as early as the beginning of September 2016.
“He’s lying and I don’t know why,” said Madonsela.
“Those who are accusing me of making wrong decisions are wasting their time, because that is not within the mandate of the commission,” Madonsela said. “If anyone feels that I did anything unlawful or unjust they should take it to the courts for review.
“Second, he is lying and I don’t know why. I don’t understand when people make statements that can be disproven.”
When Madonsela’s team initially made contact with Zuma telephonically to set up an interview he stated that he was out of the country and would indicate when he was available, she said.
Later, in September 2016, around the time Zuma supposedly was on a business trip to Dubai, he was contacted and offered an opportunity to communicate via Skype, but he declined this because he said his lawyer would not be available.
Madonsela said that in the final stages of the investigation, Zuma’s team suggested a date which fell after the end of her term in October that year.
The Law Society of South Africa’s president, Mvuzo Notyesi, said implicated persons in a public protector’s investigation had to be given an opportunity to respond to allegations made against them before a preliminary report was made.
“If he was not given an opportunity to respond, that will be fatal to the report, but if he participated and did not get a second bite it is not as fatal,” he said.
Zuma yesterday during his testimony questioned why Madonsela did not interview him on allegations which implicated him in alleged state capture.
Evidence leader advocate Phillip Mokoena was questioning Zuma on the Jonas’ evidence which placed Zuma, businessperson Fana Hlongwane, and Ajay Gupta in a 2015 meeting in which the former deputy minister was allegedly offered R600 million.