Zuma will duck and dive, analysts predict

0
305
Former president Jacob Zuma after appearing at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on corruption charges, 20 May 2019, after his battle for the court to grant him permanent stay of prosecution on the charges related to the multi - billion rand arms deal. Picture: Nigel Sibanda

Although former president Jacob Zuma is expected to finally appear at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture today, experts say he will “duck and dive” and avoid making any shocking revelations.

Zuma will appear from today until July 19.

This comes after months of him being implicated and named by witnesses at the commission of inquiry that started in August last year. Witnesses claimed he had close links to the controversial Gupta family and state capture.

Allegations against Zuma include political interference at Transnet, expediting visas to Indian nationals for the launch of ANN7 channel, involvement in SABC archival theft, and his name being used to get permission for the plane carrying Gupta family and friends for the wedding at Sun City to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base, among others.

Political expert Dirk Kotze said while the country should have no doubt the former president would appear at the commission, he would not expect any astounding revelations. He suspected Zuma would do what he usually did – present himself as the “political victim”.

“He will use the same strategy and pin it down to [the allegations] being old accusations and a political strategy to discredit him.”

Echoing Kotze’s sentiments, political expert Wayne Duvenage said he did not expect anything but for Zuma to “duck and dive” and have a “political strategy in place to derail the process”.

Duvenage said Zuma would be in survival mode and that he would have a strategy that would include not giving out too much information.

According to reports, Zuma’s appearance at the commission is expected to draw about 5,000 supporters. As a result, organisers at the venue where the commission sits in Parktown are reportedly employing 500 marshals to control the massive crowd expected to be present.

Duvenage said he believed the supporters were from Zuma’s faction of the ANC and would also include the supporters of ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule and ANC North West chairperson Supra Mahumapelo.

He said he would not be surprised if there were logistical plans in place to bring in the supporters.

“This is the last opportunity for Zuma and, since the legal strategy is against them, they had to come up with a strong political strategy, which is their supporters,” Duvenage said.

Also in attendance will be the Democratic Alliance’s Natasha Mazzone. She said: “The impact of state capture is estimated to have wiped out a third of South Africa’s R4.9 trillion GDP, and it reached its height during former president Zuma’s parliament.

“Jacob Zuma is a central figure to the investigation into state capture, as it was devised, executed and almost completed under his watch, and under the eyes of his entire Cabinet.

“There can be no immunity for Jacob Zuma.

“He needs to appear before the commission and be held accountable for his role in the state capture project.”

Chisom Jenniffer Okoye / The Citizen