South African panel orders Zuma to testify in graft probe


South African panel orders Zuma to testify in graft probe

A South African judicial panel on Friday ordered former president Jacob Zuma to testify next month over allegations of state corruption during his nine-year rule.

The subpoena came just weeks after the scandal-tainted former president hit out at the commission chairman, requesting that he recuse himself as the head of the panel was biased.

Zuma, who became president in 2009, was forced to resign in February 2018 over graft scandals centred around an Indian business family, the Guptas, who won lucrative contracts with state companies and were allegedly even able to choose cabinet ministers.

Chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, the commission was set up in 2018 to hear testimony from ministers, ex-ministers, government officials and business executives on alleged corruption under Zuma’s tenure.

So far at least 34 witnesses have directly and indirectly implicated Zuma, according to the commission’s advocate Paul Pretorius.

“It is important for Mr Zuma to appear before the commission as most of the corruption alleged took place when he was the country’s president,” Pretorius said.


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