Jacob Zuma pulls out of state capture inquiry

Former president Jacob Zuma at the state capture inquiry. He continues with his testimony on Friday.
Former president Jacob Zuma at the state capture inquiry. He continues with his testimony on Friday.
Image: Alon Skuy

"We will take no further part in these proceedings."

This is the announcement on Friday morning by former president Jacob Zuma's lawyer, Muzi Sikhakhane.

He also indicated that they make take legal action with regard to how he has been treated.

Controversial ex-SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng was in attendance at the state capture inquiry on Friday, where Zuma had been expected to resume his testimony following a day-long adjournment in his testimony.

Zuma arrived in a convoy of luxury vehicles under police escort and to chants of his name by his supporters inside the Parktown, Johannesburg, venue.

Ahead of his appearance, a pre-recorded interview with Sizwe Mpofu Walsh was released, during which Zuma was asked if he had any regrets about his time in the presidency.

"Not at all, I have no regrets," Zuma responded.

The adjournment was requested by Zuma's legal team on his third appearance before the commission on Wednesday, when Zuma said he had a problem with the commission's evidence leader Paul Pretorius' line of questioning.

Zuma was being quizzed on allegations by former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan that he, in 2009, had insisted on the appointment of Siyabonga Gama as Transnet chief executive. The commission was asking Zuma questions about the normal procedure when it came to the appointment of executives at state-owned entities.

"I am being made to go through the details that are the details of the officials and expected to remember every other detail on work that is generally done by director-generals and officials. I am not an officer or Cabinet secretary.

"The manner in which I am being asked questions on the details that I can’t even remember properly because I was not working on those details," Zuma said.

His lawyer, Sikhakhane, then jumped in.

"I have a view that my client was brought in here under false pretences and I need him to make up his mind if he wants to be cross-examined. Now it’s clear to me he is being cross-examined on what people say," he said, when requesting the adjournment.

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who is chairing the inquiry, adjourned proceedings until Friday to allow both legal teams to find a way forward.