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Zuma to take no further part in state capture proceedings

Former President Jacob Zuma’s legal team on Friday said they no longer wanted to be a part of the state capture commission proceedings.

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

JOHANNESBURG – Former President Jacob Zuma’s legal team on Friday said they no longer wanted to be a part of the state capture commission proceedings.

Zuma’s lawyers, Muzi Sikhakhane, said: "We will take no further part in these proceedings.”

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

Zuma was invited to appear before the commission to offer clarity on the statements made by former ministers and senior government officials which implicated him in the capture of the state.

Sikhakhane said Zuma was not called in line with any rules but was now subjected to rules which included an obligation to answer questions put to him by the commission evidence leader Paul Pretorius.

Zuma’s appearance was halted on Wednesday when he complained about the line of questioning at the commission.

His legal team accused the commission of not being fair after Zuma was questioned about appointment processes for government positions.

Among his reservations was that he was being cross-examined, something he did not agree to.

WE ARE GOING TO COURT TO CHALLENGE YOU

Sikhakhane said they would be going to the courts to challenge what deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo thinks is his decision.

“In any event, I have an ethical duty myself. I believe that any witness must be treated fairly and at this point.”

The senior legal counsel said he was urging Zondo to check his process where “the left-hand does not know what the right hand is doing.”

NOBODY IS BEING ASKED TO COMPROMISE OWN RIGHTS

Following Zuma’s legal team announcing that they will not be participating in the proceedings, Zondo reiterated that no one was being asked to compromise their own rights and obligations

Zondo repeated that the reason for calling Zuma before the commission was his decision and his alone.

“I, therefore, do not want Mr Pretorius or the commission’s legal team to be criticised for that decision. I made it alone. I believe it was a correct decision and still believe it was a correct decision.”

Zondo added that it is he who ultimately has to make findings based on testimonies submitted by witnesses on corruption.

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