The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
“We are instructed by our client, President JG Zuma, that he will not be participating in these proceedings at all,” wrote Mabuza Attorneys to the Constitutional Court.
Monday was the deadline for Zuma’s response to the Zondo Commission’s appeal. Zuma has dodged the Commission on several occasions, refusing to answer key questions during the five times he appeared between 2018 and last year.
This year, he cited Covid-19 and preparation for his corruption trial as reasons for why he couldn’t attend the state capture inquiry. When he finally agreed to appear, he filed an application for Judge Ray Zondo to recuse himself on the basis of unfairness and bias as the two share a family tie.
When his recusal application was thrown out of court, Zuma abruptly left proceedings. As a result, Zondo went to the Constitutional Court to have Zuma appear by legal order.
The Commission’s secretary, Prof Itumeleng Mosala will have to convince the court that Zuma’s testimony is the missing piece of the state capture puzzle.
“I do not believe that Mr Zuma will defy an order of this court. Mr Zuma’s failure or refusal to appear before the Commission totalled no less than five weeks of scheduled hearing time. This is apart from the dates of 16 to 20 November 2020, which were also lost as a result of Mr Zuma’s belated application for recusal and his walk out of the Commission’s proceedings,” said Mosala.
Meanwhile, Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi is set to represent the Zondo Commission in its hearing at the Constitutional Court. This was slammed by the President Jacob Zuma Foundation which questioned Ngcukaitobi’s appointment to lead the application.
However, the General Council of the Bar has hit back at the foundation saying it made unwarranted attacks on the judiciary and Commission which should be respected as a legal body.
“Given that the JG Zuma Foundation has furthermore failed to identify any other legitimate basis that could possibly give rise to these conclusions, the GCB condemns them as a dangerous, unjustified and cynical attack on the rule of law.”
“These comments are especially worthy of censure in circumstances where the statement itself indicates that Mr Zuma is prepared to ‘face jail’, and thus evidently recognises that his conduct in failing to comply with the Commission’s subpoena and directions exposes him to prosecution and imprisonment,” the GCB said.
The Constitutional Court will hear the Zondo Commission’s application to summon Zuma to appear and account for state capture on 29 December.
- Shell-shocked SAs speak: Seriously, 2020 – what the heck?
Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.