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Zuma wants more time to prepare for Zondo commission

The former president has been thrust into the centre of state capture with accusations that he facilitated favours for the Gupta family.

Former South African President Jacob Zuma appeared in the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018. He is charged with 16 counts that include fraud‚ corruption and racketeering. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla/Pool.

JOHANNESBURG - As the African National Congress (ANC) calls on its leaders and members to answer for their alleged roles in state capture, former President Jacob Zuma says he wants time to decide how to participate at the commission.

The inquiry into state capture kicked off in Parktown on Monday morning with Zuma's lawyers and the legal representatives of those implicated in state capture asking the inquiry for more time to study witness submissions.

Zuma has been thrust into the centre of state capture with accusations that he facilitated favours for the Gupta family.

As part of its terms of reference, this commission will look into Zuma’s role in the alleged influence of his family and friends in government.

His lawyers say he wants to participate meaningfully at the commission but wants time to decide whether or not to make a written statement.

In the meantime, his lawyers will be allowed to sit in as witnesses who have previously implicated him make submissions.

One of the commission’s lawyers Vincent Maleka said: “They will apply at a moment convenient to them regarding the privilege of cross-examining any or all of those witnesses.”

The commission has adjourned for the day and will resume on Tuesday with former acting chief of procurement William Mathebula as the first witness.

WATCH: Challenges faced by state capture commission

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)