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Zuma criticised for not responding to state capture evidence

The inquiry's legal team has accused Zuma of receiving statements from witnesses but failing to respond to the accusations against him.

FILE: Jacob Zuma waiting to address his supporters outside the Durban High Court on 8 June 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Former President Jacob Zuma has been criticised for failing to respond to the evidence against him by witnesses at the state capture commission.

The inquiry's legal team has accused Zuma of receiving statements from witnesses but failing to respond to the accusations against him.

The commission's work was postponed by a month after Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan missed a deadline to submit his final sworn statement while former Minister Barbara Hogan submitted hers late.

Hogan was meant to testify on Wednesday, with Gordhan expected on Friday.

Zuma's lawyer Daniel Mantsha has raised concerns with the state capture commission, saying Barbara Hogan's statement which implicates Zuma was sent to them late.

“We won’t have enough time to elect whatever we’ve to elect in terms of the rules.”

But the commission's legal counsel Advocate Thandi Norman fired back, saying that Hogan's initial statement was sent to Zuma in August already and he has still not responded to the evidence.

“If she gets this statement, when are we going to get a version because he has not indicated what prejudice is he suffering? We can’t have a situation where there has been compliance with initial notices by the commission but there are no versions coming from his client.”

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has called on those implicated by witnesses at the state capture commission to bring their version to the inquiry.

Themba Maseko, Vytjie Mentor, and former Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene are some of the names of witnesses that have implicated Zuma in state capture.

The Zondo Commission heard Hogan will add to that list.

Zuma’s lawyer Daniel Mantsha said: “We have been invited as per the notice in terms of the rules of the commission that the former president is implicated in the evidence which the witness before you is going to give.”

When approached for comment, Hogan wouldn’t be drawn on how she will be implicating the former president except to say “you will find out soon”.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)