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Duduzane Zuma expected to wrap up testimony at Zondo Inquiry

Duduzane Zuma has questioned the commission on how his testimony would be handled in light of such omissions as the evidence leader in the case relied mainly on the evidence presented by involved individuals to the Public Protector.

Duduzane Zuma at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on 7 October 2019. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane has decried how he was never offered an opportunity to present his side of the story when his name was repeatedly mentioned as the fixer for the infamous Gupta family.

On Monday, Duduzane Zuma questioned the commission on how his testimony would be handled in light of such omissions as the evidence leader in the case relied mainly on the evidence presented by involved individuals to the Public Protector.

He claimed he was never asked for his input on such allegations by the Chapter Nine institution in its investigation of state capture claims.

This, however, is being disputed by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who has told the Business Day that investigators had offered to travel to Zuma in Dubai to speak to him about the allegations.

WATCH: State capture inquiry: Duduzane Zuma hits back at allegations against him

When placed on the spot, Zuma was forced to contradict the affidavits of not only a man he said is his uncle, Fana Hlongwane, but also that of his business partners, the Gupta family.

At the core of the disagreement was the chronology of events during a controversial meeting in which former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas claimed a Gupta brother attempted to bribe him to head the ministry.

Zuma appeared to be conflicted when the commission evidence leader Advocate Phillip Mokoena put Hlongwane’s evidence to the Public Protector to him.

In it, Hlongwane disputed Zuma’s submission that Rajesh Gupta briefly stepped into the room where the meeting with Jonas was being held.

Zuma was pressed to explain how this could be the case when Jonas and Hlongwane were in the same room.

“Looking at the events and version of events, uncle Fana... I can’t give an opinion or view. He saw what he saw. I know what I saw.”

He also had a hard time explaining away a media statement issued by Oakbay Investments at the time, claiming no Gupta family member was present in the meeting.

Zuma told the commission that the meeting with Jonas was to facilitate the resolution of a private dispute between the former deputy minister and Hlongwane.

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON?

When the moment of truth finally arrived for him to tell his side of the story - the denials, rebuttals and 'I’ don’t knows' sounded as though he was reading from the same script as his father.

When the former president appeared before the commission, he told deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he was used as a scapegoat by his accusers and complained of a grand conspiracy.

His go-to phrase was “I do not recall”.

Although his son did not take his defence as far as conspiratory claims, everyone who had placed him at the centre of clandestine meetings at the Gupta residence was somehow mistaken about the contents of such gatherings.

“That's not correct, and it fits into the narrative, of course, which is myself being an organiser, a conduit to meetings and influence and whatever else it is," he told the commission.

Zuma Jr also dismissed the testimony of former Free State MEC Mxolisi Dukwana who said the young businessman was present when an attempt was made to get him to cooperate with corrupt deals that would benefit the Gupta family.

He returns to the stand on Tuesday morning.

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