Zuma given tomorrow to meet with his legal team to discuss Inquiry

Zuma given tomorrow to meet with his legal team to discuss Inquiry

Yesterday saw lawyers on both sides in a power struggle at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Advocate Paul Pretorious and Jacob Zuma's legal defence seemingly butted heads at every corner, making for strained proceedings.

Today will likely see similar behaviour unfolding as the inquiry attempts to glean information from an increasingly-reluctant Zuma.

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Zuma given tomorrow to meet with his legal team to discuss inquiry

The State Capture of Inquiry has been adjourned in order for former president Jacob Zuma to discuss his next move with his legal team.

The former president may well be withdrawing from his testimony before the inquiry, with his lawyer claiming his client had been lured under false pretences.

The Commission will resume on Friday morning, with presiding chair Deputy-Chief Justice Raymond Zondo saying he is confident they will be able to find a way forward.

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Live Stream: Zuma may well be reconsidering testifying at inquiry

Tensions are rising at the Zondo Commission, with Jacob Zuma possibly reconsidering testifying before the Inquiry. This comes after Zuma and his lawyer raised objections to the line of questioning concerning government deployment procedures.

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After re-adjourning following a lunch break, the Zondo Commission has already been put on ice once more.

This comes after a squabble between the two parties over whether or not the inquiry was justified in questioning deployment processes.

Zuma says that he has denied the accusation levied by ex-minister Barbara Hogan, and shouldn't have to go through the details.

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Both Raymond Zondo and Advocate Pretorius has explained that they have a duty to explore the nature of the appointments that have been brought up at the inquiry.

This prompted Zuma to object to being 'cross-examined', despite Pretorius simply taking him through Hogan's statement and asking him to respond to the details thereof.

Zuma's lawyer, Muzi Sikhakhane, has now called for an adjournment, commenting:

"I have a view that my client was brought in under false pretences. My client is clearly being cross-examined. I want my client to consider his position - I advised him to come here in bona fides and I do not think I was right."

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Live Stream: Zuma's lawyer trying Zondo's patience with interruptions

The tension between the two legal teams battling it out over the testimony of Jacob Zuma has been tangible. However, Deputy-Chief Justice Raymond Zondo's patience seems to be wearing thin with the ex-president's lawyer, Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane.

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Naturally, looking after the interests of Jacob Zuma is Muzi Sikhakhane's biggest priority at the State Capture Inquiry.

Zondo, on the other hand, is not impressed with seemingly constant interruptions and it is starting to show.

While questioning Zuma on the processes used to deploy government officials, Sikhakhane intervened, claiming that:

"This is very poor I must say. This witness (Zuma) is not an expert in those processes. I do not think it is fair to ask someone who was head of state about a process to select people for positions."

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However, Zondo disagreed, explaining that while the law did indeed dictate how processes should be carried out, the inquiry was trying to ascertain how it unfolded in reality.

This according to the chair, is vital to the investigation and was in line with their mandate.

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Live Stream: Zuma denies Hogan's claim he pushed for Transnet CEO

- Former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan claimed that Jacob Zuma had thwarted processes when he insisted on the appointment of Siyabonga Gama

- Gama had gone on to become the CEO of state-owned entity Transnet, something that Hogan says should never have happened, but Zuma had pushed for it

- During his testimony at the inquiry, Zuma denied that he had pushed for Gama's appointment as he had been facing serious allegations at the time

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Former President Jacob Zuma has clarified comments made before the tea-time adjournment, saying that loyalty alone is not the only factor when deploying government officials.

Before the break, Deputy-Chief Justice Raymond Zondo had questioned Zuma, asking:

"Is it your understanding that loyalty to a party should be a factor in appointments to government?"

To which Jacob Zuma clarified his stance on the issue, which has caused a great deal of debate in the inquiry:

"I'm not really saying that. I'm saying that when political parties win elections (globally) they take their people into government."

Moving onto the resignation of Maria Ramos as CEO of Transnet ( 2009), the inquiry heard that there had been no preferential list for candidates to succeed her.

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When questioned on the matter, Zuma agreed with Barbara Hogan that there had been no such list, despite a 'fiction' arising at the time that there was.

Siyabonga Gama, who had been CEO of Transnet Freightrail, had applied for the position, says Zuma:

"The view in that process was that this man, we know him, he has been working here, he is capable."

During Hogan's testimony, she had been adamant that she had not wanted to appoint Gama, as he was facing disciplinary action at the time.

Hogan claims that the pressure had come from Zuma himself, alleging that she had been fired when she had refused to appoint him as Transnet CEO.

Hogan had testified during her time at the inquiry that a meeting with Jacob Zuma had seen the ex-president insisting that Gama was to be deployed to that position, not the board's own preferred candidate.

Hogan had claimed to be 'shocked' that Zuma would insist on the appointment of Gama, saying that she could not override the board's process to find their candidate.

Zuma denies Hogan's account of the meeting, commenting that:

"I don't remember myself saying these things."

The former president asks how he could have insisted on Gama's appointment when he was facing serious allegations.

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Live Stream: Zuma - Why shouldn't you deploy those loyal to the party?

The issue of the deployment of government employees has been raised at the inquiry. Barbara Hogan claimed that the party pushed unskilled people into key positions, electing to employ well-connected individuals instead.

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Jacob Zuma, according to both Advocate Pretorius and Deputy-Chief Justice Zondo, is in a unique position to comment on this issue, due to his long and varied time in government.

To this, Zuma admits the ANC would select candidates from within the party, but he denies it is anything untoward:

"I think it is very clear she (Hogan) has views. She says when we do the selection it must not be based on the things she is talking about. But the way she is putting it, "it must not be a reward for loyalty" - I'm just making the point that ... why should you not take people who are loyal to the party, if they have skills and everything?"

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Hogan had been concerned that people with close ties to the ruling party, or its allies, had been favoured by the committee that deployed officials.

Zuma responded that he could not understand why the former minister would take issue with this:

"Well I don't know what she thinks must happen. Why the people appointed must not come from the people that people know, and they know their experiences, and in the process of that, the people who are here would be known, either because of their profession or performance, will implement the policies (of the party)."

Zuma says that this is globally-accepted practice, pointing out that no government in the world would deploy opposition candidates, who could harm their chances of re-election.

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Live Stream: Zuma expected to answer to Barbara Hogan's testimony

Today at the State Capture Inquiry Jacob Zuma is expected to comment on the evidence put forward by Barbara Hogan. The former public enterprises minister accuses Zuma of unduly putting pressure on her to appoint Siyabonga Gama to Transnet, and of meddling in Eskom's operations.

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Former President Jacob Zuma is expected to cover evidence put forward by ex-public enterprises minister, Barbara Hogan.

Hogan's testimony saw her accusing the ex-president of hanging her 'out to dry' while she faced pressure to appoint Siyabonga Gama as Transnet CEO.

Hogan claimed that she was cast as an 'anti-transformation racist' due to her unwillingness to cave into the pressure.

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Another disturbing revelation put forward by Hogan was that Zuma had blatantly interfered with the operations of Eskom.

Hogan also claims that on the day Zuma had fired both herself and Ahmed Kathrada, her partner who served 26 years on Robben Island with Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki had been forced to sit in the car outside the presidential residents because they had been barred from entering.

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Source: Briefly.co.za

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