Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has reassured Jacob Zuma’s counsel that his client will be treated with fairness at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
Former President Zuma said Monday that enemies had plotted to bring him down. “There has been a drive to remove me from the scene… a conspiracy against me.” Referring to the Guptas, Zuma said: “I never did anything with them unlawfully, they just remained friends. Never, never did I discuss any matter that does not belong to them”.
Zuma says he was introduced to the Guptas by former minister in the Presidency Essop Pahad. “The person who introduced them was Essop Pahad. They were introduced as good business people. They knew a lot of comrades. When Mandela was President they started being very close and friends with Mandela. When Mandela was gone they were friends with Thabo. I never did anything with them unlawfully or whatever. We remained friends… I have wondered why people think that my relationship with them is not right when they had a relationship with others – two other Presidents had relations with them.”
“Rupert saw Minister Mbalula, at that time he was Minister of Sports – he said if Zuma removes Gordhan we will shut down the economy of this country. You must go and tell him we will make the rand flat on the ground, indeed they did interfere with the rand.”
Zuma alleged that Former Public Service Minister Ngoako Ramatlodi, who testified at the Commission about his supposedly toxic relationship with the Guptas, was an apartheid era spy who has not changed his ways.
Zuma also told the Commission that former ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe and his Deputy Jessie Duarte were happy with his idea that the Gupta family establish the New Age newspaper and later the ANN7 TV station. He said there was nothing wrong with the family establishing a business and the ANC’s National Executive Committee were fully briefed.