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Zuma to continue testifying at Zondo inquiry

Upon the resumption of proceedings on Friday morning, Zuma’s lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane told the commission that Zuma would take no further part in the proceedings.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 19 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has announced that former President Jacob Zuma wishes to continue to cooperate with the state capture commission.

He said: "The decision that the former president would no longer participate in the proceedings is withdrawn."

Upon the resumption of proceedings on Friday morning, Zuma’s lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane told the commission that Zuma would not take part in proceedings.

However, Zondo said it took the parties 10 minutes to reach a solution after he ordered all parties to his chambers following Zuma’s announcement.

The former president was invited to the commission to state his side of the story and respond to the evidence and statements of those who implicated him in fraud and corruption in the public service.

Zondo defended his decision to invite Zuma to the inquiry: “I was still waiting to be informed about the outcome of discussions from the legal teams.”

He has expressed grave disappointment with how the events at the commission have turned out.

Meanwhile, Zuma has denied halting the process just to be disruptive, saying he was happy that a solution has been found to the stalemate.

Zuma assured the deputy chief justice that he was not trying to get out of giving testimony at the commission.

He said all he wanted was to be treated fairly.

“I think no one should have the impression that the raising of concerns was just done in order to disrupt processes. These were genuine concerns and I am happy we found solutions.”

Zuma thanked Zondo for his intervention and promised to return to the inquiry.

“That adds to the confidence we have in you as a chair, that you’ll do your task with honesty and find solutions.”

The commission said it would work with Zuma’s lawyers to find the best time for him to come back and continue with his testimony.

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