State Capture Inquiry: The return of Jacob Zuma – dates, questions, details
Oct. 11, 2019
The State Capture showdown continues with the much-anticipated return of Jacob Zuma.
After a bit of confusion on the dates, the State Capture Inquiry has finally confirmed that former president, Jacob Zuma, will mark his return to the hot seat before this month ends.
State Capture Inquiry: What’s the latest?
The inquiry was expected to continue, on Thursday, with the cross-examination of Bosasa whistleblower, Angelo Agrizzi. However, after numerous calls for an adjournment from evidence leader, Advocate Paul Pretorius, the proceedings were halted for another day.
The more pressing issue at hand, it seems, is the confusion around the return of Jacob Zuma.
It was earlier reported that the former president had been handed a list of 80 questions that he would face , under cross-examination, in a bid to avoid the delays that marred his first appearance.
However, soon after wrapping up Thursday’s proceedings, the Commission issued a statement, rubbishing these claims as “simply factually untrue”.
“It must be stated that the Commission has never agreed to furnish Mr Zuma with any questions in advance,” the statement read.
The Commission explained that based on agreements that were reached with Zuma’s legal team, it was only expected to “send a document indicating ‘areas of interest’ in the various affidavits or statements of witnesses from which the questions would rise”.
What questions is Zuma likely to face?
Following the release of this statement, the Commission published a copy of the letter that was sent to Zuma’s attorney, Advocate Sikhakhane. which lists the areas of interest that the inquiry will focus most of its questions on.
In the letter, Advocate Pretorius explained that the basis of these ‘areas of interest’ has been formed around the testimonies of nine witnesses who have, in some capacity, implicated Zuma in State Capture. These include:
Zuma’s knowledge of communication relating to the axing of former Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene;
his understanding of the functions of the GCIS and its expenditure on government advertising;
his knowledge on alleged interactions with Maseko on assisting Ajay Gupta with ANN7; and
what he knows about the circumstances surrounding Maseko’s transfer from GCIS to the Department of Public Service and Administration.
Why Mentor was removed as Chair of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee of Public Enterprises;
the now-infamous 2010 trip to China;
the offer of Minister of Public Enterprises position allegedly made by the Gupta family for Mentor’s cooperation;
whether Zuma was, indeed, present when the offer was made;
Mentor’s evidence regarding the shoddy dismissal of Barbara Hogan in the October 2010 Cabinet reshuffle;
contents of Zuma’s relationship with Mentor;
the criminal charges laid against Zuma by Mentor.
Other areas of interest that are likely to feature in Zuma’s testimony include:
When will Jacob Zuma return to the hot seat?
At first, it was believed that Zuma’s return to the inquiry was marked for Monday, 14 October. However, the Commission quickly corrected that in a statement and indicated that the former president will testify from Monday, 21 October to Friday, 25 October , and again from Monday, 11 November to Friday, 15 November .