Former president Jacob Zuma, who is expected to appear before the state capture commission this week. Picture: REUTERS
Former president Jacob Zuma, who is expected to appear before the state capture commission this week. Picture: REUTERS

SA is expected finally to see former president Jacob Zuma appear before the state capture commission.

It is still unclear whether he will explain his side of the numerous state capture allegations levelled against him, as his lawyer Daniel Mantsha previously said there was no guarantee that the former leader would actually testify or answer questions when he appeared before the inquiry, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.

Zuma, who has been implicated in wrongdoing by a number of current and former ministers, has denied any wrongdoing. He alleges that the commission, which he established, is politicised, lacks the requisite impartiality and is biased against him.

Zuma begrudgingly resigned as head of state in February 2018, after President Cyril Ramaphosa won the ANC presidential race in December 2017 over Zuma’s favoured successor, former AU Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.

Former government ministers including Nhlanhla Nene, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Barbara Hogan and current public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan have all implicated Zuma in wrongdoing during his controversial tenure at the helm of the country.

Zuma is appearing at the commission to give his side of the story to wide-ranging allegations that he and his administration were captured by private interests, particularly the Guptas, who are the centre of the state capture allegations.

The allegations against the former scandal-plagued president include that:

  • As submitted by former government spokesperson Themba Maseko, Zuma personally called him to meet the Guptas during the early stages of setting up their controversial media empire, which included The New Age newspaper.
  • As alleged by transport minister Fikile Mbalula, he was informed by one of the Gupta brothers that he was to be sports minister before Zuma informed him of the appointment.
  • As alleged by Nene, Zuma and other cabinet ministers became hostile to him after he refused to sign the nuclear deal that would have cost the struggling economy more than R1-trillion.
  • He had lied about his reasons for removing Nene as finance minister. Zuma explained at the time that Nene would take up a position at the Brics Bank, which did not take place.
  • He fired Ramatlhodi who refused to revoke the mining licence of mining company Glencore, which owned mining assets, including the Optimum Coal Mine, which the Guptas later bought.

Meanwhile, international relations & co-operation minister Naledi Pandor will meet her South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, at the OR Tambo International Airport on Monday.

The status of bilateral relations between the two countries, trade and investment, technical co-operation, Korea-Africa development issues and other global affairs, are among issues to be discussed by the two leaders.

South Korea is SA’s fourth-largest trading partner in Asia, and SA is South Korea’s largest trading partner in Africa, departmental spokesperson Lunga Ngqengelele said.

In 2018 SA’s total volume of trade with South Korea amounted to about R37bn, of which R23bn came from SA exports. The rest were imports.

Ngqengelele said about 27 Korean companies were doing business in SA, with investments in the automotive, manufacturing, information and communications technology, energy, construction, cosmetics and shipping sectors, among others.

On Tuesday a joint meeting of the standing and select committees on appropriations will hold public hearings on the 2019 Appropriations Bill at the Old Assembly Building in Cape Town.

The purpose of the bill includes to “appropriate money from the National Revenue Fund for the requirements of the state for the 2019-20 financial year”.