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Jacob Zuma wants to participate meaningfully in inquiry, says lawyer

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Former President Jacob Zuma has responded to the chairperson of the state capture inquiry’s invitation for him to make presentations.

Former President Jacob Zuma has said he will apply his mind to the invitation to respond to allegations made at the state capture inquiry.

Zuma responded to Judge Raymond Zondo’s invitation for him to come and give his side of the story.

The proceedings, chaired by Zondo, are looking into allegations of state capture, fraud and corruption within the public sector. Zuma, his son Duduzane and the Guptas, are considered the central figures in the commission.

So far, six witnesses have implicated the former president – accusing him of allowing the Gupta brothers to use arms of state in pursuing their business interests.

“As his senior counsel advised the commission during its day of hearing, [former] President Zuma supports the commission and wants to participate meaningfully in the process,” said Zuma’s lawyers in a statement on Thursday, 13 September 2018.

“He reiterates this position and therefore he will apply his mind on the invite and shall convey his reply to the chair of the commission as soon as he has consulted with his team”, the statement further reads.

The lawyers said Zuma opted not to apply to cross-examine the witnesses – as did Duduzane, whose request was granted. The Guptas’ application, however, was denied as they wanted to testify via video conference.

“It seems to me that the issue of this commission travelling overseas to hear their submissions must be rejected”, Zondo said at the time.

Thabo Baloyi