The son of former president Jacob Zuma, Duduzane, told the chairperson of the commission of inquiry into state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that he believed that he was “unfortunately caught in a political storm” in light of the allegations of state capture levelled against him.
The young Zuma on Tuesday was telling Zondo of the consequences he had had to deal with following allegations by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas that he had allegedly arranged a meeting attended by him, the former deputy finance minister, businessman Fana Hlongwane and one of the Gupta brothers. It was during this meeting that Jonas was allegedly offered R600 million and the position of finance minister, which was held by Nhlanhla Nene at the time.
“There have been quite a few consequences,” Zuma told Zondo.
Zuma said these consequences could be categorised on three levels: political, legal, and perception.
Zuma said the latter consequence had been having to deal with the public perception influenced by reports in the media regarding the allegations of state capture. He said he was now seen as a criminal and the face of corruption.
“I’m not corrupt. I have not taken any money from anybody and I never will,” said Zuma.
Zuma also told the commission’s chair of the legal consequences he had to deal with due to “all sorts of investigations” or a lack of such, adding that he had to be “in and out” of courtrooms.
Zuma was arrested sometime last year and appeared in court on charges of corruption. He said the charges related to the alleged meeting he had arranged with Jonas, Hlongwane, and a Gupta brother.
Zuma said at the time of his arrest he had been incorrectly labelled a fugitive and it was said he was “on a self-imposed exile” when he was at the time out of the country for other reasons.
He told the commission that he was arrested as he returned to the country for his little brother’s funeral and that on his arrest he learnt that a complaint had been generated by the Democratic Alliance (DA).
Zuma told the commission that on the Monday following his arrest he went through the “rigmarole” of going to the police station and the courtroom.
“That is the way that the arrests happened and at all material times, I had my legal representation,” Zuma said, adding that he and his legal team were not furnished with a charge sheet or any warrants.
He further said that he learned that Jonas had refused to make a statement with the police.
Zuma said the matter was subsequently provisionally withdrawn pending the outcome of the findings by Zondo.
He said he was aggrieved by the arrest and would pursue legal action, adding that his legal representatives had made a demand to the police for his wrongful arrest.
“Someone has to explain,” Zuma said.
“We’d all be fooling ourselves if we don’t see there has been political play at the background.”
He said this was evidenced by what had transpired in the political sphere since the allegations of state capture were brought to the fore and the outcomes of the “political wranglings” in the country.
He said he was willing to comply with the commission even though it had been made to seem he was being evasive.