Former president Jacob Zuma appears before the Zondo commission on July 19 2019. Picture: REUTERS/MIKE HUTCHINGS
Former president Jacob Zuma appears before the Zondo commission on July 19 2019. Picture: REUTERS/MIKE HUTCHINGS

Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to make his second appearance before the state capture commission in November.

Zuma was originally due to appear on October 21, but the commission said it was informed that the former president and his legal representatives were unavailable because of circumstances relating to his criminal trial. 

Zuma appeared in the Pietermaritzberg high court this week on graft charges relating to the multibillion-rand arms deal. He informed the court that he would be appealing against the dismissal of his application for a permanent stay of prosecution. 

On Thursday, the state capture inquiry said commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo previously set down November 11-15 for Zuma's next appearance. 

It said Zuma had agreed to appear on those dates, and so they still stood. Further dates for his appearance would be communicated in due course. 

At his first appearance at the commission in July, Zuma described an almost 30-year plot to remove him from office and kill him. He claimed that some of his own ANC comrades were apartheid spies working with intelligence agencies to implement the plot.

Zuma was confident while making his statement, mapping out the plot against him, but his demeanour changed once the commission’s head of legal, Paul Pretorius, started questioning him. The former president was evasive, and times seemed irritated by the fact that he was even being questioned, complaining that it was more of a cross-examination.

The inquiry has now given the former president a document with “areas of interest” that he will need to address at his next appearance. This was as a result of an agreement reached between Zuma's lawyers and the commission. 

Zuma has yet to provide an affidavit detailing his response to these topics he has been asked to address. Key among them are his involvement in a proposed nuclear deal with Russia and his firing of former finance ministers Nhlanhla Nene and Pravin Gordhan.

The dismissal of the two sent the rand into free fall. The political climate at the time contributed to SA's losing its investment-grade rating from two of the three major ratings agencies, raising borrowing costs across the economy.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za