Durban – Democratic Alliance (DA) member of parliament Natasha Mazzone has said that former president Jacob Zuma’s first day of testimony at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Monday was "a smoke and mirrors show".
Mazzone is the DA’s spokesperson on "state capture", a term used to describe allegations of widespread corruption within the government and private sector that led to the enrichment of certain politicians, officials and business people.
Deputy judge president Raymond Zondo is chairing the investigations into the allegations.
"Former president Jacob Zuma’s testimony before the Zondo commission of inquiry today was nothing more than an attempt to play the victim and evade accountability.
"Instead of coming clean, former president Zuma spoke of a biased media, conspiracy theories and assassination plots, none of which could be backed with evidence," said Mazzone.
During his testimony, Zuma suggested that he had been targeted by two foreign intelligence agencies in conjunction with a local intelligence agency that conspired against him. He also claimed that at one point there was a rumour that he would be offered R20 million to resign, this when he was deputy president.
"If these allegations are true, he must reveal which intelligence agencies plotted against him, who was behind the alleged R20 million offer and where the money would have come from," said Mazzone.
She said that at no point did Zuma take any personal responsibility "for the state capture which took place under his presidency".
"The unrepentant looting and corruption which is estimated to have wiped out a third of South Africa’s R4.9 trillion GDP, took place under his watch," said Mazzone.
"No amount of obfuscating and confusion will prevent the former president from accounting. He must come clean on his role in state capture and his knowledge of others’ involvement.
"The DA maintains that the Zondo commission is not the trial of Jacob Zuma, as he is but the figure head of a sophisticated and damaging scheme led by the ANC and its associates.
"The Zondo commission has a mammoth task in investigating state capture and has proven to be effective in revealing the large scale corruption of the ANC government, and we trust that Jacob Zuma’s smoke and mirrors show today will not deter the commission from conducting its work and unearthing the truth," said Mazzone.
Zuma is scheduled to testify for the rest of the week.
African News Agency (ANA)