Saturday, 17 August, 2019

Zuma, back at inquiry, says his life is in danger

Former president Jacob Zuma after appearing at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on corruption charges 20 May 2019 after his battle for the court to grant him permanent stay of prosecution on the charges related to the multi- billion rand arms deal. Pict South Africa's Zuma denies being 'king of corruption'
Patty Aguilar | 16 July, 2019, 17:42

Political analyst Professor Tinyiko Maluleke says former president Jacob Zuma's appearance before the state capture commission is a significant moment and possibly unheard of in many African countries.

He told Zondo there had been a conspiracy since the 1990s to "get rid" of him at all costs.

They all deny allegations of wrongdoing.

Zuma said the African National Congress had been trying to establish some media as an "alternative" voice, but despite trying by partnering with other people, this had never worked.

Maseko told the inquiry that Zuma had telephoned him and told him to help the Guptas.

However, Thabo Mbeki has since released a public statement saying, "President Thabo Mbeki did not at any point introduce the Gupta family to President Zuma".

"They were businesspeople and successful businesspeople", Zuma continued, referring to the three Gupta brothers. "I don't know why they reached that kind of discussion", he said.

"It's an exaggeration, it is meant to enhance this narrative against Zuma", he said.

They have since relocated to Dubai amid calls for them to come and testify before the Commission.

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Zuma also hinted that he could spill the beans on ANC comrades who had spoken out against him.

Zuma has also denied that the Gupta family played any part in the hiring and firing of ministers.

On Tuesday, Zuma's lawyers argued that the commission's line of questioning was inappropriate because it amounted to cross-examination.

A former deputy finance minister, Mcebisi Jones, testified that the Gupta family offered him the job of finance minister. Mr Ramaphosa described Mr Zuma's nine years in office as "wasted".

Dismissing the term "state capture", he said it was impossible for one family to corrupt the government, parliament and the judiciary.

I would usually make opening remarks at the beginning of Caucus, Mr Zuma would make closing remarks without fail at these caucus meetings.

A group of several dozen supporters broke into clapping and chants of "Zuma" as the former president entered the room. Mr Zuma is [one of] the very top six members of the NEC that was sent to inform me that I have been appointed by the leadership of the ANC to become the chair of the ANC caucus.

Zuma also said he did not issue an instruction to remove Themba Maseko, former head of the government communications service, from his position after he refused to direct state advertising money to the Guptas' media company in 2011.

Zuma's lawyer, Muzi Sikhakhane, said he had reservations about the ex-president appearing before the commission, complaining that his client hasn't been given sufficient opportunity to prepare for questions he may face.

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