South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, will attend a judicial inquiry into government graft during his tenure even though he believes it is prejudiced against him, his lawyer said.
Zuma’s lawyer Daniel Mantsha, on Tuesday, said:
“He is going to the commission as invited from July 15-19.”
However, “our client remains of the view that the commission is prejudiced against him and lacks the requisite impartiality,” Mantsha wrote separately in a letter to the inquiry seen by reporters.
It wasn’t specified in the letter if Zuma would testify or answer questions. It described last week’s invitation from the commission for Zuma to attend – in which it said he had been implicated in graft by at least nine witnesses – as part of a “disinformation campaign”.
The primary brief of the inquiry is to investigate corruption allegations, notably at state firms Eskom and South African Airways, which are in serious debt after years of mismanagement.
It is reviewing accusations that three prominent businessmen – brothers Atul, Ajay, and Rajesh Gupta — unduly influenced Zuma during his presidency about political appointments and the awarding of state contracts.
Jacob Zuma, who was forced out of office last year over corruption allegations, has denied any wrongdoings.
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