Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyers insist he is “cooperating” with the state capture inquiry and have hit back at Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s request for him to respond to the evidence against him as “unfortunate”.
“Former president Zuma made an election in terms of the rules of the commission that he will not apply to cross-examine the witnesses who allegedly implicated him or may implicate him‚” Zuma’s legal team said in a statement released on Thursday afternoon.
“It would seem that despite him co-operating with the commission his election (in terms of the commission’s own rules) is misunderstood as non cooperation‚ we find this very unfortunate since former president Zuma has sent his legal representatives to every sitting of the commission where the alleged evidence which may implicate him was being given‚ and further he has honoured‚ through his legal team‚ all the requests which were brought to the attention of his legal team by the commission.”
Zuma’s lawyers issued the statement hours after Zondo revealed that he had “invited” the former president to respond to specific allegations made against him by former government communications head Themba Maseko and ex-ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.
“It was announced‚ I think some time last week‚ that former president Jacob Zuma had taken the view that he is not implicated by any of the witnesses so far and therefore that is why he did not apply for the right for him to cross-examine anybody‚” Zondo stated on Thursday morning‚ after he refused an application by the Gupta brothers to cross-examine Mentor‚ Maseko and former deputy finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas.