Former President Jacob Zuma‘s lawyers have announced that their client will no longer participate in the State Capture Inquiry.
The Commission adjourned on Wednesday after Zuma complained that he was being cross-examined in breach of the Commission’s rules.
“We came here to tell you that we want to explore the option of going to our courts to challenge what we think is your decision but you have told us it is not. In any event I have an ethical duty myself. I believe that a client, a witness like anybody else must be treated fairly and at this point I am not sure if I would be doing my ethical duties if I proceeded in these proceedings. I think, chair, I am imploring you. I think there is something wrong not with you, not with any particular person. I am pleading with you sir to really check whether your process has not become a political process,” says Muzi Sikhakhane.
Advocate Paul Pretorius has however insisted that his questioning of Zuma is valid in light of the Inquiry’s rules.
Pretorius says there will be no special arrangement to allow any deviation from the Commission’s rules:
“We do not believe and we deny that Mr Zuma’s procedural objections, complaints and reservations are valid. His rights and the integrity of the commission will be fully safe guarded by continued adherence to the Commission’s Act regulations and rules and there is no proposal that the legal team would make to deviate from those provisions. So indeed we cannot deviate from the act the regulations and rules.”
Meanwhile, Zuma’s supporters are beginning to arrive outside the venue of the State Capture Inquiry in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Transported in mini-bus taxis, they are chanting struggle songs in support of the former president.
A scuffle broke out earlier between the Zuma supporters and Peter Bellingan, a civilian who erected a banner written “Zuma must go, corruption is a cancer that needs to be cured”. He insists that the commission must find him guilty of corruption.
However, Zuma supporters forcefully took the banner down, saying it’s in violation of Zuma’s rights as a South African.
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