Is Zondo taking aim at Zuma? Lobby group claims preferential treatment at commission

A Gauteng based lobby group, Radical Economic Transformation Now! founded by ANC MK veteran Carl Niehaus has released a statement on the Zondo Commission and its plan to summon former president Jacob Zuma.

Zondo told the public and media he would not negotiate dates for the former statesman to appear. Instead, he would hear why Zuma can’t appear and if the reasons did not satisfy him, he would compel him to attend on 16 to 20 November.

Next Round (Jacob Zuma). More of Zapiro’s magic available at www.zapiro.com.

“Previously I determined that today up to Friday, Zuma would appear before this commission.  He was notified thereof and after some time his attorneys wrote to the commission and said that he would not be appearing before this commission.

“The reasons they gave include that he was busy preparing for his criminal trial. That his doctors have advised him to limit his movements because of his age and Covid-19 and that he was seeking legal advice of the implications of the recent amendments to the regulations of this commission. I do not want to comment on this stage of his reasons for deciding that he would not appear,” said Zondo.

Read also: Zondo to ask Zuma and Ramaphosa: What did you do to stop corruption at SOEs?

In the statement, RET said it noted how some witnesses were treated with kid gloves and allowed to avoid showing up.

“There are several other witnesses where there have been for various reasons delays in them appearing before the commission, but the commission’s engagements with them have been and continue to be through direct confidential personal contact.

“Among the most notable example is Minister Pravin Gordhan who is set to appear before the commission for cross-examination but who has not done so to the point where it is appearing that he is defiant and arrogant in being unavailable.

“The minister seems to regard himself as being in the category of super citizen that is not answerable to anyone – unlike the rest of us South African citizens.”

The group questioned Zondo’s treatment of Gordhan, stating he showed a more respectful and understanding attitude towards him.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe – who was linked to the Guptas – and Lucky Montana, ex-chairperson of Transnet, have not appeared at the commission despite asking to do so, says the lobby group.

The full statement from Carl Niehaus and the Gauteng Zuma support group below

This alluded to a bias from Zondo as he had not allowed the two to give their verbal evidence, the group proclaimed.

“There are other persons such as Brian Molefe and Arthur Fraser who have literally pleaded to appear before the commission but whom the commission has not seen necessary for them to appear…The only rush, and urgency, to get a very specific witness before it, seems to be singularly reserved for President Zuma,” said the Radical Economic Transformation group.

Reaction to Zondo’s statement on Twitter

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