Former president Jacob Zuma’s lawyer Dan Mantsha has accused the state capture commission of inquiry of an “unfortunate attempt at instigating the public” against his client

In a letter Mantsha wrote, which News24 has seen, the former president said the commission’s decision to issue a media statement amounted to “nothing but a disinformation campaign and an unfortunate attempt at instigating the public against our client”.

Zuma has confirmed that he will attend the commission on 15 to 19 July even though the commission will not furnish him with questions in advance, which he requested.

But, in a statement released on Thursday, the commission said it took the position that it was enough that the former president would be afforded an opportunity to state his side of the story in response to certain identified witnesses who testified or gave statements or affidavits about issues that relate to him.

Zuma believes the commission is “prejudiced” against him and “lacks requisite impartiality”.

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‘Naming and shaming’

Mantsha said: “We view this stratagem of naming and shaming out client as unfortunate and constituting a descension into the political arena by the commission.

“Your press statement, the chairperson’s previous public comments about our client and the refusal to furnish us with specific questions have all left us with the distinct impression that the commission views our client as an accused and does not require our assistance in its truth-finding mandate.

“This has left us with the distinct impression that you seek your truth and to deliver our client to the commission for public display and in order to ambush and humiliate him rather than to fulfil the mandate of the commission as set out in the terms of reference.”

Speaking to News24 on Tuesday, Mantsha said according to Rule 3.10, Zuma was entitled to be provided with questions, which he had requested but did not receive.

He said the questions were meant to facilitate whatever Zuma was going to say.