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Zondo inquiry to blame for suspension of Zuma’s testimony – lawyer

The former president was not happy with the turn of events and wanted a change of approach.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Jacob Zuma’s lawyers have implored the state capture commission to take full responsibility for the abrupt halt of the former president’s testimony.

The commission’s chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo had to adjourn proceedings on Wednesday to allow for Zuma’s legal team and the commission to work through their differences over how to approach his testimony.

Zuma had complained that he was being cross-examined and expected to remember things that either happened a long time ago or had nothing to do with his work while he was head of state.

Although highly anticipated, Zuma’s testimony had drawn the Zondo commission into uncharted territory. The former president was not happy with the turn of events and wanted a change of approach.

Zuma objected to the commission’s evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius’ line of questioning, and now legal teams from both sides have to deliberate.

Zuma’s lawyer Advocate Daniel Mantsha said the commission was to blame for the premature adjournment.

“The commission is not acting according to the rules that it has set for itself, and that is the responsibility for the adjournment today,” Mantsha said.

Proceedings were expected to resume on Friday.

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