- Lawyers representing former president Jacob Zuma said his request for more time to study witness lists was not an attempt to delay proceedings at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture
- Zuma’s legal team said the former president wanted to take part in the commission but needed more time to prepare
- Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane who is representing Zuma said he needed more time to study specific allegations made by witnesses against the former president
Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyer, Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, said his client had no intention to stall or delay the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture despite making a request for more time to study witness lists on the very first day of the inquiry.
Sikhakhane said his client wanted to take part in proceedings but needed more time in order to properly prepare his testimony. Zuma’s lawyer said he needed more time to study specific allegations which had been levelled against the former head of state.
Sikhakhane said Zuma could not interfere with the timeframe of the inquiry even if it was his wish to do so. He said the request for more time was purely based on Zuma’s wish to make a meaningful contribution to the process.
Briefly.co.za gathered that the inquiry which finally got underway on Monday was supposed to hear testimony from Mcebisi Jonas and Vytjie Mentor on its first day but their appearances had to be pushed back.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and his team instead spent a large part of the first-day briefing legal representatives on the scope of the inquiry.
EWN.co.za reported that Jonas and Mentor are expected to deliver damning personal accounts of how they were offered bribes and or positions within Zuma’s cabinet by members of the Gupta family.
Jonas reportedly refused to accept a bribe of more than half a billion rand to take the position of finance minister in the wake of Nhlanhla Nene’s December 2015 sacking.
The inquiry has been tasked with probing the alleged relationship between Zuma and the Gupta family. It is believed that Zuma profited financially from his friendship with the Guptas’ while he helped to further their business interests through political favours.
Sikhakhane said Zuma was still undecided over whether he would submit written testimony to the inquiry
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