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Jacob Zuma's lawyers discuss his possible withdrawal from Zondo Inquiry

Zuma has been complaining that he was expected to remember details of what happened a long time ago.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers are now discussing whether or not he should continue with his testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry.

“He was brought here under false pretense," one of his lawyers said.

Zuma has been complaining that he was expected to remember details of what happened a long time ago.

He told the state capture commission that he had a problem with the inquiry’s expectation that he must remember details that, as head of state, he didn’t deal with directly.

Zuma was continuing his testimony at the inquiry on Wednesday afternoon, where he has denied ever insisting on the appointment of Siyabonga Gama as Transnet CEO despite him facing serious charges.

This allegation was made by Barbara Hogan at the commission last year, who was Public Enterprises Minister at the time of the appointment.

Zuma said it was unfair for the commission to ask for details of some events.

“I have a problem because I’m being made to go through the details that are the details of the officials and expected to remember every other detail on the work that is generally done by the DGs and other officials.”

Meanwhile, the former president’s legal team earlier on Wednesday again accused deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo of being unfair.

Zuma’s lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane asked for an adjournment, saying his client was brought before the commission under false pretenses.

“Now I need him to make up his mind whether he wants to be cross-examined because it is clear, it’s just been confirmed, that he is being cross-examined.”

His lawyer, Muzi Sikhakhane, also said it was not fair for the commission to question Zuma, who was head of the state, on the processes of selecting and appointing people for government positions.

“…When you have the document from the right person. I don’t think this is fair to this witness."

Zondo responded: “Well Mr Sikhakhane, sometimes you have a laid down process and you have a different understanding… of the process that was followed and sometimes, a laid down process was not followed. The question was meant to get his understanding of the appointment process."

Sikhakhane interjected and asked what that had to do with fraud and corruption.

Zondo said: “It’s got to do with whether where it is alleged that he said he had only one choice as a candidate and whether his understanding of the process is different from what is laid down.”

Zuma was being questioned about former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan’s claims flouted procedure and interfered in the appointment of former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama.

From the onset Zuma and his legal counsel have expressed unhappiness with the commission’s treatment of him, saying he was being handled like an accused.

Sikhakhane asked to adjourn for 30 minutes.

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