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Zondo inquiry mulls Jacob Zuma's lack of undertaking to appear

The commission said that in lines with its rules, Jacob Zuma was not entitled to pre-conditions prior to his testimony.

FILE: Former president Jacob Zuma outside the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg addressing supporters on 20 May 2019. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission on Thursday said it was reflecting on former President Jacob Zuma’s lack of undertaking to appear before the inquiry after a request was sent to him six weeks ago.

The commission had set aside 15 to 19 July for Zuma’s appearance after he was implicated in state capture by several witnesses, including former Government Communication Information System director-general Themba Maseko and former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

The commission said Zuma insisted on being furnished with the questions he would be asked in advance before he could commit to appearing before it.

In a statement, the commission said this was not in line with its rules, which did not entitle Zuma to the pre-conditions prior to his testimony.

Instead, it said it was enough that he had been told that he would be afforded the opportunity to state his side of the story in response to the evidence made about and against him.

“The commission is currently reflecting on the fact that after six weeks since it requested that it be furnished with the required undertaking, it has not been furnished with the undertaking and will take such decision(s) as it deems appropriate in due course,” the statement read.

Zuma’s name had come up several times since the inquiry got under way, with Nene earlier telling the commission that the former president had disregarded the negative impact the nuclear build programme deal with Russia would have on the economy.

The commission said it would decide on appropriate action with regards to Zuma’s evasiveness in due course.

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