Nxasana: Zuma's lawyers tried to convince me to lie in court

Mxolisi Nxasana said when Freedom Under Law and Corruption Watch launched its review application, he was approached by Jacob Zuma’s attorney Michael Hulley.

A screenshot shows Mxolisi Nxasana at the state capture inquiry on 2 September 2019.

PRETORIA - Former prosecutions boss Mxolisi Nxasana on Monday said former President Jacob Zuma’s attorney tried to convince him to mislead the courts to say that he voluntarily asked to vacate office.

Nxasana wrapped up his testimony at the state capture commission of inquiry, which dealt with the events leading up to his R17 million golden handshake.

That deal was set aside by the Constitutional Court last year.

Nxasana said when Freedom Under Law and Corruption Watch launched its review application, he was approached by Zuma’s attorney Michael Hulley.

“Then he suggested to me that I should work together with President Zuma and offered to pay for my legal costs, including the cost of senior legal counsel.”

Nxasana said the only way Zuma was able to defend the application was to argue that he had asked to be allowed to leave office.

“I gathered that he wanted me to help President Zuma by saying that I made a request to vacate office. But I made it clear in that meeting that I won’t say that.”

The advocate said he was later shocked to read in Zuma’s affidavit where he claimed that Nxasana asked to step down.

RADEBE WANTED ME OUTNxasana also said instead of disciplinary steps being taken against advocates Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mrwebi, processes were started to have him removed from office.

By July 2014, several courts had made adverse findings against both Jiba and Mrwebi which prompted Nxasana to ask that they be suspended and disciplined.

But he said the opposite happened: “The unfortunate situation is that he acted against me instead of acting against them. The unfortunate part is that I heard through corridor talks that nothing was going to happen to them and when the president didn’t take any action against them, it came as no surprise.”

Evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius asked Nxasana who first raised the issue of him leaving office.

He said: “That was Minister [Jeff] Radebe and the DG. I explained to him that, well, if that is the case I will have to be fired because I will not step down.”

WATCH: State capture inquiry proceedings on 2 September 2019