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By S’thembile Cele
(Bloomberg) – Former South African President Jacob Zuma said he will refuse to cooperate with a judicial panel that’s probing graft during his nine-year rule in violation of an order by the nation’s top court.
“The Commission Into Allegations of State Capture can expect no further cooperation from me in any of their processes,” Zuma said in a statement on Monday. “If this stance is considered to be a violation of their law, then let their law take its course. I do not fear being arrested, I do not fear being convicted nor do I fear being incarcerated.”
The Constitutional Court ruled on January 28 that Zuma must testify before the panel headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Zuma, who has accused Zondo of bias and unsuccessfully sought his recusal, walked out of a panel hearing in November and refused to answer questions.
The government has estimated more than R500bn ($33bn) was stolen from state coffers during Zuma’s rule, and a succession of witnesses who’ve appeared before Zondo have placed the ex-president at the centre of the looting spree. Zuma has denied wrongdoing and says the allegations against him are part of a political smear campaign.
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