Former president Jacob Zuma shares a light hearted moment with his legal team, 19 July 2019, at the Commission of Enquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL / THE SUNDAY TIMES
Former president Jacob Zuma shares a light hearted moment with his legal team, 19 July 2019, at the Commission of Enquiry into State Capture in Parktown, Johannesburg. Picture: ALAISTER RUSSELL / THE SUNDAY TIMES

Former president Jacob Zuma will now continue working with the commission of inquiry into state capture, after he withdrew from the process earlier on Friday morning.

The agreement, which will see Zuma return to the inquiry in Johannesburg, was decided in chambers between the commission and Zuma’s different legal teams after the inquiry’s chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, intervened in the matter.

Zuma’s counsel, Muzi Sikhakhane, told the commission earlier on Friday that his “client has instructed me that he will take no further part on these proceedings”.

This came after the commission adjourned its work on Wednesday after Zuma’s legal team raised the issue that he was brought to the commission under false pretences, and that he was being cross-examined.

Zondo laid out the terms of the agreement forged on Friday, saying that the commission’s legal team will now indicate to Zuma’s legal team what areas in the different witnesses’ statements interest them, and the former president will then provide statements through his legal team to indicate what he has to say to those specific issues.

The two different legal teams will meet within the next two weeks so the commission’s team can present them with a document setting out which parts they want him to give information on and to agree on a timeline as to when Zuma has to present the statements.

If they cannot agree on the time frames, Zondo will make a decision on it.

“It is contemplated in this agreement that at a certain stage, the former president will come back and give evidence and it is contemplated that with the process that has been agreed to by all sides, it may well be that the time that he will need to testify might be shortened because of the exchange of information that will have happened, including statements or affidavits from the former president,” Zondo said.

He thanked Zuma for his decision to continue co-operating with the work of the commission.

In response, Zuma addressed the commission shortly before it adjourned on Friday, thanking Zondo for his intervention.

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