Jacob Zuma sent 'areas of interest' only, says judge Zondo

08 October 2019 - 12:05 By Amil Umraw
Jacob Zuma arriving to testify at the state capture inquiry on July 15 2019. Judge Raymond Zondo has denied the commission furnished the former president with questions he would be asked when he returns to the stand. File photo
Jacob Zuma arriving to testify at the state capture inquiry on July 15 2019. Judge Raymond Zondo has denied the commission furnished the former president with questions he would be asked when he returns to the stand. File photo
Image: ALON SKUY

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo has denied the state capture commission furnished former president Jacob Zuma with a set of questions he would be asked when he returned to the stand, instead saying it was a document with “areas of interest” Zuma  needed to address.

Zondo, who chairs the commission, was referring to a recent report in Business Day which said the commission had submitted 80 questions to Zuma's legal representatives based on the allegations set out against him. The article, entitled “Zuma to get preview of nuke deal questions”, was published in Business Day on October 4.

Zondo was speaking at the inquiry ahead of Duduzane Zuma's second appearance at the commission on Tuesday.

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"In that article, the Business Day says the commission had sent former president Jacob Zuma questions he would be asked when he next appears at  the commission. It referred to the fact that prior to his appearance before the commission last time, the former president had asked that he be furnished with the questions he would be asked once he was on the witness stand, and that I, as chairperson, had made a decision to refuse that he be furnished with questions in advance," Zondo said.

"The article goes on to say the commission had sent Zuma’s lawyers 11 pages with 80 questions. When you read the whole article, it certainly gives the impression the commission has changed its decision on the question of whether Zuma should be furnished with questions before he appears before the commission. Since then, I think another newspaper has published the same article.

Duduzane Zuma took the stand at the state capture inquiry for a second day on October 8 2019, where he listed three grievances. Concluding his testimony, Zuma said he hoped never to see commission chair Judge Raymond Zondo again.

"The fact of the matter is the commission has not sent Zuma’s lawyers any questions. There is a document which has 11 pages and I saw that in the article there is a reference to 11 pages. That was sent by Advocate Paul Pretorius to counsel for Zuma. That document contains areas of interests in the various affidavits that had previously been given to Zuma as the affidavits from which questions would arise."

He said the document was sent to Zuma's counsel in respect of an agreement reached between both parties when Zuma appeared before the commission in July.

"The terms of that agreement were announced publicly by myself. Counsel for Zuma and the head of the commission’s legal team were asked after I had announced the terms to confirm whether those were the terms of the agreement. They stood up here in public and confirmed those were the terms of the agreement. I asked Pretorius to give me the document he had sent once again," Zondo said.

"He gave me the document again and I couldn’t see any questions. All I could see was an indication of areas of various affidavits in which the legal team was saying they were interested. I will cause that document to be released to the public so the public can see for itself there were no questions that were sent."


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