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Zuma must tell SA why he defended the Guptas - Shaik

Mo Shaik said former President Jacob Zuma opted to defend the Gupta brothers and made it clear that no investigation should proceed.

A YouTube screengrab shows Mo Shaik at the state capture inquiry on 26 November 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Former head of the South African Secret Service Mo Shaik said former President Jacob Zuma owed the country an explanation as to the nature of his friendship with the Guptas and the reasons for defending them.

Shaik made the submission at the state capture commission of inquiry on Tuesday, where he recalled how Zuma rejected a proposal by the State Security Agency to investigate the controversial family.

He said the former president opted to defend them and made it clear that no investigation should proceed.

Shaik could not say for sure whether Zuma was in some way beholden to the Guptas.

“It was quite evident that some kind of influence peddling was taking place by the Gupta brothers and the president needed to be alive to that information peddling. The fact that he was dismissive of it will forever remain a mystery to me but the inappropriateness of the behaviour of the Gupta family, I think that is not in doubt anymore.”

He said the country deserved an explanation for the position Zuma adopted.

“The country awaits Zuma’s explanation for what was the nature of that relationship and why in light of so many people raising the issue, he still felt necessary to defend it. If not defended, then no put the kind of appropriate checks and balances in place?”

WATCH: State capture inquiry on 26 November 2019