Former President Jacob Zuma denies ever giving an instruction that then CEO of the Government Communications Information Service (GCIS) Themba Maseko be removed from his position.

In earlier testimony to the State Capture Inquiry, Maseko alleged that in 2011 the late former Minister in the Presidency Collins Chabane told him that he had been instructed by Zuma to terminate his contract.

This after Maseko says he had refused to accede to a request by Ajay Gupta to divert millions in government advertising to the family’s newly-established New Age newspaper.

Zuma says Chabane may have used his name to remove Maseko.

Maseko was subsequently transferred to the position of Director-General of the Public Service

“This Commission has experienced this at times people use the names of the President. I am sure you had a witness here yes last week I’m sure that could happen with the ministers as well if the minister is finding it difficult to say to the DG ‘I am now saying go’ and use the name of the President because I don’t see why I should leave the country only when I am abroad then I must attend to this issue. It’s a little bit strange and funny and I never phoned Chabane about this DG when I was abroad not at all. ”

Meanwhile, Zuma’s legal counsel, Thabani Masuku, has raised concerns over the way in which the Commission’s evidence leader, Advocate Paul Pretorius, is questioning Zuma.

“A decent way in dealing with this – and I don’t mean disrespect to the Commission leaders – would be to say he is a major witness and let us talk to him first and let us understand what statement we can get from him because then it is easier to lead him as they have led other witnesses here. They have been able to put together a statement from them with evidence and they can take the minister through the aspects. Why has Zuma been brought here in this manner if not to cross-examine him?”

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