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Former South African President Jacob Zuma refuses to testify in corruption probe

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

The state capture of inquiry can expect no further cooperation from me in any of their processes going forward,” Zuma said in a six-page statement on Monday.

Johannesburg, Feb 2 Former South African President Jacob Zuma has refused to testify before a commission established to investigate allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud, despite a court ruling compelling him to do so. The commission has summoned Zuma to appear before it from February 15 to 19.
“The state capture of inquiry can expect no further cooperation from me in any of their processes going forward,” Zuma said in a six-page statement on Monday.

He argued that his constitutional rights were being violated after the Constitutional Court forced him to testify at the state capture commission, reports Xinhua news agency.

“Recently the commission ran to the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis to get the Constitutional Court to compel me to attend at the commission and to compel me to give answers at the commission, effectively undermining a litany of my constitutional rights including the right to the presumption of innocence,” Zuma said.

He further said he was always prepared to appear at the inquiry but not before the deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo whom he claimed was biased against him.

“The recent decision of the Constitutional Court also mimics the posture of the commission in that it has now also created a special and different set of circumstances specifically designed to deal with Zuma by suspending my Constitutional rights rendering me completely defence-less against the commission,” the statement added.

His corruption trial was delayed several times in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The former leader, who was in office from May 2009 to February 2018, testified only once before the commission in July 2019. He withdrew after a few days citing that he was treated as an “accused” and not as a witness.

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