Zuma pulls the plug on Zondo testimony

By Nkululeko Ncana and Mike Cohen

(Bloomberg) – Former South African President Jacob Zuma declined to provide further testimony to a judicial panel that’s investigating whether he consented to and benefited from widespread looting during his nine-year rule.

The commission of inquiry adjourned two days ago after his lawyers objected to the panel’s line of questioning and argued that he was being unfairly cross-examined.

“My client has instructed me he will take no further part in these proceedings,” Zuma’s lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane said at the commission in Johannesburg on Friday. “The commission does not appear to know its ground rules.”

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo invited Zuma to the inquiry to respond to allegations that he facilitated the looting of state funds, took bribes and flaunted government processes when he was president. Zuma testified that he’s the victim of a conspiracy by foreign and domestic intelligence agencies intent on ousting and discrediting him and denied any wrongdoing.