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State capture inquiry: 'Jacob Zuma didn't believe he'd be implicated'

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has requested that Jacob Zuma's lawyers submit his side of the story in an affidavit.

FILE: The crowd who gathered to support former President Jacob Zuma is seen reflected in his glasses as he waits to speak after appearing on corruption charges at the Durban High Court on 6 April 2018. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The chairperson of the state capture inquiry has asked former President Jacob Zuma to respond to the allegations against him.

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo has requested that Zuma's lawyers submit his side of the story in an affidavit.

Former African National Congress MP Vytjie Mentor and former Government Communications boss Themba Maseko have testified that Zuma was directly involved with the Guptas and tried to persuade them to assist the family.

Zondo says he was informed by Zuma's lawyers that he didn't apply to cross-examine witnesses because he didn't believe he'd been implicated.

This is despite Mentor testifying last month that the former president was present when the Guptas offered her a ministerial position.

Maseko also told the commission that he received a call from Zuma to assist the Guptas who were looking for government funding.

Zondo says he'd like to hear Zuma's version.

“I have indicated my wish that he could put this in an affidavit … in regard to those aspects to assist the commission.”

At the same time, the former president has denied the state was ever captured. He told university students in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday that state capture is a “politically decorated expression”.

WATCH: Inquiry: Guptas' bid to cross-examine witnesses dismissed

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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