Duduzane Zuma. Picture: ALON SKUY
Duduzane Zuma. Picture: ALON SKUY

Former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane Zuma has had a change of heart and will testify at the state capture inquiry.

Advocate Paul Pretorius said Zuma’s lawyers had written to the commission’s legal team informing them that he would testify in relation to evidence given by former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas.

Jonas has alleged that Duduzane Zuma was at a meeting where the Guptas offered him the job of finance minister and a R600m bribe.

At first Duduzane Zuma informed the commission he would not testify because he was facing charges in the Specialised Commercial Crime Court on the same matter.

He made his first appearance in court earlier in 2018 and is expected to be back again in court in 2019.

Commission head deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo is still to decide on the applications made to cross-examine witnesses by those implicated in their testimony.

Duduzane Zuma had applied to have Jonas cross-examined.

The Gupta brothers are refusing to come to SA to testify at the commission. They have instead said they are willing to testify via a video link from Dubai, where they currently are.

Calls are mounting for Duduzane’s father to appear before the commission and answer a slew of claims that the Gupta family controlled him and used their connections with him to milk the state of billions.

Asked if the ANC believes Jacob Zuma should appear before the commission, head of the presidency Zizi Kodwa on Monday said there must be “no fear or favour”.

“We want this commission to do its work without fear or favour, regardless of your height or size, regardless of your position in society or in the organisation. Whether you were once a president of the republic or a premier of a province, you must be bold enough because these allegations are quite serious,” Kodwa said.

Jacob Zuma, through his lawyers last week, said he would not apply to cross-examine witnesses as none of them implicated him.

His lawyer, Daniel Lugisani Mantsha, wrote to the inquiry after Zuma was notified that he may be implicated by the evidence of former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, current and former government communications heads Themba Maseko and Phumla Williams and former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan.

“We have consulted our client … We are satisfied that nothing in the aforementioned witnesses’ statements implicates or may implicate our client in the infringement of the aforementioned statutes, policies of government and relevant ethical codes,” said Mantsha.

Kodwa’s statement on Monday came on the day the commission heard how the Guptas’ media companies pocketed more than R260m from the government since 2004. The funds were channelled from the Government Communications and Information System and various levels of government to the Gupta-owned The New Age Media and Infinity Media.

The Zondo commission will continue with its hearings on Wednesday and is expected next to hear testimony from Hogan.

 

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