Zondo lays criminal charge against Zuma, takes him to Concourt to force him to testify

After his abrupt exit from the state capture inquiry last week and to the shock of the Deputy Chief Justice, Ray Zondo, last-ditch attempts are being made to force Zuma to testify.

At the commission this morning, Zondo issued a statement about how he intends to compel Zuma to respond to the testimonies of 35 witnesses who have implicated him in state capture. First, a criminal charge would be laid with the police as Zuma left the commission without permission. While Eric Mabuza, Zuma’s attorney, said they had made their intention to leave known and done nothing wrong, Zondo said they were not given approval and had thus defied his authority.

“Mr Zuma must be dealt with in a manner in which our law provides it must be dealt with. This Commission is clear about what should happen – it remains determined to carry out its function.

“Given the seriousness of Mr Zuma’s conduct and the impact it may have on the work of the Commission and the need to ensure we give effect to the Constitutional provisions that all are equal before the law, I have decided to instruct the secretary to lay a criminal complaint with the South African Police Service so the police can investigate his conduct. The secretary will make available to the police all relevant (information).

“This Commission is quite clear and those steps will be taken as a matter of urgency,” said Zondo.

Then, Zondo said he would apply for a legal summons from the highest legal body in the country, the constitutional court to force Zuma to attend. This would be done so other witnesses are clear that they cannot ignore the commission as they saw fit.

“His conduct may send a message to all other witnesses who may not be comfortable to come and answer questions that it is the right thing to do for a witness summoned to excuse himself, (for) witnesses to come and go as they please before the Commission.”

“The decision by Mr Zuma to leave the Commission without permission is a serious matter – it impacts on the integrity of the Commission, the rule of law and public accountability. The matters this Commission is investigating and by which it seeks to question him happened when he was President of the Republic.

“The rule of law and public accountability are values fundamental to our constitutional order and our Constitution promises that all are equal before the law.  This is a principle of our Constitution a society built upon the rule of law,” said Zondo.

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