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SA’s must-watch TV: Zuma at bribery inquiry Monday

Former president has described the inquiry as a political witch hunt and insists there’s no evidence he’s done anything wrong.

Former President Jacob Zuma will face a judicial panel for the first time next week to answer accusations that he consented to and benefited from widespread looting during his nine-year rule.

Lawyers for the commission of inquiry will question Zuma, 77, about claims by previous witnesses that he allowed members of the Gupta family, who were his friends, to influence his administration’s appointments and to flout government rules to further their business interests. He will also have to respond to testimony that he took bribes from services company Bosasa in exchange for political backing.

Zuma is scheduled to testify from Monday to Friday at the public hearings led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. He’s described the inquiry as a political witch hunt and insists there’s no evidence he’s done anything wrong. While Zuma’s lawyer confirmed he will attend the hearing, the former leader has declined to give substantive answers to the claims in the past, and it’s unclear if he will this time.

The Guptas, who’ve left the country, have also denied wrongdoing.

Zuma was forced to step down by the ruling party in February last year and was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa.

These are some of the key allegations made at the hearings that are likely to be put to Zuma:

  • Former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas said Zuma effectively ceded presidential authority to the Guptas, who offered him the top ministry post and a R600 million bribe if he agreed to fire top Treasury officials blocking their business interests. He declined the offer.
  • Themba Maseko, former head of the government communications service, testified that Zuma asked him to help the Guptas, who told him to direct the government’s R600 million advertising budget to the family’s newspaper and television channel. Maseko said he was fired on Zuma’s orders after he refused to comply.
  • Former lawmaker Vytjie Mentor said one of the Gupta brothers suggested she could become public enterprises minister on condition she agree to scrap South African Airways flights to India. That would have let the family decide on an airline to run the route. She said Zuma was at the Guptas’ home when the offer — which she refused — was made, although he wasn’t at the meeting itself.
  • Nhlanhla Nene said he was fired as finance minister in 2015 for resisting Zuma’s attempts to force through a deal to buy nuclear power plants from Russia.
  • Fikile Mbalula said he first heard about his appointment as sports minister from one of the Gupta brothers a few days before Zuma officially named him to the post in 2010. Mbalula is now the Minister of Transport.
  • Ex-Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi said the Guptas exerted an inexplicable influence over Zuma and had the power to summon him to their home. Zuma ignored pleas from his fellow ruling party leaders to break ties with the family, saying they had helped his children when he was in need, according to Ramatlhodi.
  • Angelo Agrizzi, Bosasa’s chief operating officer from 1999 to 2016, testified that the company agreed to pay R300 000 a month to Zuma’s charitable foundation in return for protection from prosecution.
  • Bosasa chief executive officer Gavin Watson gave the money to the foundation’s chairwoman, according to Agrizzi, who said he counted the cash and was present when several payments were made.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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First question will come from Zuma, “What is this thing state cupcha?”

It is going to be an amusing few days till Raymond throws his toys and demands proper answers.

“What corruption are you talking about? It is all fake news.”

Looking back at it all, it is very tragic and very sad what Mr. Zuma did to millions of South Africans.

So much wealth was lost, so many jobs lost, so many people and families were hurt. Nation building stopped, distrust between cultures and people increased.

Ex-President VS. South Africa

Adriaan Basson has a list of 101 questions on News24 that he wants Zuma to answer at the commission. Here are some more:

1. Mr. Zuma, how many children do you have?
2. What are their names?
3. On a scale of one to eleventy, how corrupt are you? Eleventy being for most corrupt and one being most not corrupt.
4. Apparently, while in jail at Robben Island, you had no friends among your fellow incarcerated comrades. Why is that?
5. Name three books that you have you read in the past decade.
6. Why are your lawyers in PMB arguing that the reinstatement of the arms deal corruption charges (by Shaun the Sheep) is unfair, when they conceded before the SCA earlier that the withdrawal of the charges (by Mpshe) was irrational?
6. What do you think of the nickname Shaun the Sheep, given to the man you thought the best person to deal with crime in the country?
7. If you could say one sentence to the cartoonist Zapiro, what would that be?
8. In some of the testimony before the Zondo commission it became apparent that your friends the Guptas regarded you with contempt and dismissed you as a non-entity. What are your views on this?
9. Why did you never put anything writing?
10. Are these questions part of the conspiracy against you? Prove it.

He doesn’t deserve to be referred to as former president, he’s just a common criminal that rented his soul out to the highest bidders. the inept ANC hasn’t put ONE person behind bars so far they all have each others backs, while the tax payers backs are against the wall.

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