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Follow the money: Jacob Zuma faces questions over key departments

Former president Jacob Zuma has begun his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday.
Jacob Zuma Former president Jacob Zuma has begun his testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday.

Former president Jacob Zuma will on Tuesday return to the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations he colluded with the Gupta network to enable the looting of the public purse.

He has been implicated by several high-ranking politicians and officials of influencing the appointment of cronies to state-owned entities‚ offering ministerial posts to people who would favour the Guptas‚ and of wanting to irregularly press ahead with a R1-trillion nuclear deal despite concerns it could bankrupt the country.

The commission‚ led by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo‚ is expected to begin the morning session with a continuation of its line of questioning to Zuma regarding allegations levelled against him by former Government Communication and Information System boss Themba Maseko.

Zuma ended his first day at the commission on Monday by denying that he arranged a 2010 meeting with Maseko and members of the Gupta family to discuss the redirection of government advertising spend to the family's media assets.

Zuma could not seem to recall the contents of a phone call‚ or that he had even made one‚ to Maseko ahead of his meeting with Ajay Gupta.

In the call‚ Zuma is said to have instructed him to "help" the Guptas.

In the meeting which followed‚ Ajay Gupta is said to have instructed Maseko to direct GCIS’s entire R600m media advertising budget into the family’s media interests - which he refused to do.

"I don’t remember because I normally called the directors-general‚ particularly this one‚ to discuss a number of issues. I can’t remember making this call. It is natural that they [the Guptas] would want to talk to him. I don’t think there was anything out of the ordinary‚" Zuma said.

"If such a call is made‚ would that call have moved away from the normal procedures? Would trying to compel the DG be a wrong thing? I had nothing to do with this discussion with Maseko...I’m sure Gupta can explain better."

Once the commission has completed quizzing Zuma on Maseko's evidence‚ it will then move on to allegations set against Zuma by other witnesses who have previously appeared before it.

The commission's evidence leader Paul Pretorius said on Monday that Zuma would be asked questions relating evidence given to the commission by public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan‚ former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor‚ former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene‚ former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan‚ former public service and administration minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi‚ his advisor Mahlodi Muofhe‚ former Bosasa executive Angelo Agrizzi and transport minister Fikile Mbalula.

Former president Jacob Zuma appeared at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture in Johannesburg on July 15 2019. While supporters, and detractors, gathered outside the venue, Zuma touched on several interesting topics.

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