State capture inquiry 'lacks requisite impartiality': Jacob Zuma's lawyer

25 June 2019 - 12:13 By Nico Gous
Jacob Zuma's lawyer says Zuma will attend the state capture inquiry despite calling the commission's tactics “nothing but a disinformation campaign and an unfortunate attempt at instigating the public against our client (Zuma)”.
Jacob Zuma's lawyer says Zuma will attend the state capture inquiry despite calling the commission's tactics “nothing but a disinformation campaign and an unfortunate attempt at instigating the public against our client (Zuma)”.
Image: JAMES OATWAY

The state capture inquiry’s criticism of former president Jacob Zuma for asking to see the questions he will be asked if he takes the stand is “nothing but a disinformation campaign and an unfortunate attempt at instigating the public against our client”, says Zuma's lawyer.

“We view this stratagem of naming and shaming our client (Zuma) as unfortunate and constituting a descension into the political arena by the commission,” (sic) Zuma’s lawyer Daniel Mantsha wrote in a letter to the commission’s secretary, Peter Pedlar, on Monday.

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Commission spokesperson Mbuyiselo Stemela had said in a statement on Thursday: “The commission maintains that Mr Zuma is not entitled to insist that he be furnished with the questions in advance of his appearance before he can consider whether to give the undertaking.

“The commission is aware of certain views expressed or accusations made by Mr Zuma against the commission, but does not wish to deal with those here and prefers to confine itself to what has been set out above.”

Mantsha said they asked in “good faith” to see the questions beforehand so that Zuma could be “fully prepared” and help the commission “more meaningfully”, but said the statement left them with the “distinct impression that the commission views our client as an accused and does not require our assistance in its truth-finding mandate”.

“This has also left us with the distinct impression that you seek your own truth and to deliver our client to the commission for public display and in order to ambush and humiliate him rather than to fulfil the mandate of the commission as set out in the terms of reference.”

Despite the letter, Mantsha confirmed Zuma would attend the commission from July 15 to 19.

He stopped short of saying whether Zuma would take the stand.

“Our client remains of the view that the commission is prejudiced against him and lacks the requisite impartiality.”


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