DAY 4: Part 1 - Former President Jacob Zuma at the Commission into State Capture
LIVE BLOG: I have [been] put on the spot by those who hate the ANC - Zuma
Former President Jacob Zuma testifies at the state capture inquiry.
"The decision to ask the former president to appear before the commission this week was my decision. And my decision alone. I, therefore, do not want Mr Pretorius or the commission's legal team to be criticised for a decision they did not make... I believed it was the correct decision, I still believe it is the correct decision," Zondo says the purpose of calling Zuma was to allow him to gove his side of the story and out questions to him.
Sikhakhane says the 9 witnesses who testified against Zuma - Themba Maseko, Vytjie Mentor, Nhlanhla Nene, Fikile Mbalula, Angelo Agrizzi, Pravin Gordhan and others - treated Zuma as someone who must come and answer. Someone who has been accused. "Everyone who came, who was selected from government, had a grievance against him."
Sikhakhane rises and says "This is poor, this is really poor." He looks exasperated. "This witness comes here... This is no expert in those processes." He says it's unfair to ask Zuma to explain the process of selecting people when the documents explain this. "He's told you that he couldn't have said it."
Zuma explains that normally the deputy president chairs this committee. This is because the DP would know what is needed in government because he is also SA's DP. Other ministers would be ministers of a particular type who know what government does. The sitting president doesn't sit on the committee but can interact with the DP.
Once the ANC committee has chosen someone, government processes then kick in. However, if a department minister suggests someone, the committee helps facilitate that process. "It does not impose them... It is a discussion that takes place. Once that process is done, there will have to be a government process wherein people go through an interview."
Zuma says there are some comrades that have provoked him. "One day, Comrade [Fikile] Mbalula attended an activity in the farm or home of Mr Roebert. And when Roebert saw him, he said ' Mr Mbalula, if Zuma removes Pravin Gordhan, we will shut down the economy of this country, you must go and tell him'. And he indeed he told me... Indeed, they did interfere with the rand. I knew it was a deliberate move. Part of the agenda.
"When I was being dismissed, the president said Zuma must have his day in court and I hadn't been charged by then. It was my first time hearing that I will be in court." He says Schabir Shaik was first charged after being accused of corruption with Zuma. "They wanted Schabir to be convicted in order to charge me. In a sense prolonging the narrative that Zuma is corrupt."
Zuma says he questioned back then why he was being attacked. The answer was because he had a lot of info as chief of intel. He was alleged to be surrounded by spies in his department. He was said to be nurturing these spies to eventually lead these spies. Zuma says this is when he was removed, which began the process of him being here today.
"There has been a drive to remove me from the scene. A wish that I should disappear. And I will explain where the comes from. It arises out of, perhaps, my work in the ANC. And also because of who I am. This conspiracy against me has been stretched at all material times when there are things to be done."
"I've been a subject of talk in this country for more than a decade. I've been vilified. Alleged to be the king of corrupt people. The most corrupt. I've been given every other name and I have never responded to those issues, firstly because I believe it is important that we all respect one another." - Zuma
While South Africa will only find out whether or not former President Jacob Zuma has anything to say at the state capture inquiry in a few hours, plenty has been said about his involvement in state capture in the period since the inquiry's commencement.