Former South African president Jacob Zuma, at the state commission that is probing wide-ranging allegations of corruption in government and state-owned companies in Johannesburg, Friday, July 19, 2019. Zuma has denied corruption allegations against him, saying the charges are part of an international intelligence conspiracy that started more than 25 years ago to assassinate his character. (Pool Photo via AP)

Former South African president abandons graft testimony

July 19, 2019 - 2:35 am

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Former South African president Jacob Zuma has abandoned his testimony to a state commission probing graft allegations against him, asserting that he is being treated unfairly.

The commission is probing wide-ranging allegations of graft in government and state-owned companies. His lawyers said Friday that Zuma, who denies the allegations, will no longer participate.

Zuma was president from 2009 to 2018, when he resigned under pressure from his ruling African National Congress party and was replaced by Cyril Ramaphosa.

Zuma began his testimony this week by calling the allegations part of an international intelligence conspiracy that began more than 25 years ago to assassinate his character.

He has been questioned about his close relationship with the wealthy Gupta family and allegations that they exerted influence over cabinet appointments and state contracts.