Lawyers for former President Jacob Zuma say it is embarrassing to have to come to the State Capture Inquiry to explain the reason why Zuma is unavailable to appear before the Commission because of his medical challenges.

Zuma, in a replying affidavit delivered to the Commission, has informed the commission that he is receiving medical treatment in the country and abroad and may only be available in March.

Application adjourned 

The Commission’s legal team is seeking an application for an order authorising a summons for the former President to appear from the 27th to 31st of January.

The application has been adjourned to a date to be determined. This follows the former President’s lawyers telling Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that Zuma will not be able to appear before March due to ill health and offering to explain to Zondo the circumstances of his illness.

Advocate Thabani Masuku presented the argument before the commission. “The position taken by the legal team of the commission suggests that the former president is not interested in coming to the commission and can only do so under compulsion. I am instructed to offer to the chair that the leader of the medical team that is involved in the treatment of Mr Zuma would be prepared to meet with the chair and to explain to the Chair the nature of the issues Mr Zuma is facing and to do so under very strict conditions of confidentiality as the nature of the President’s medical condition is a matter of state security.”

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo made the ruling. “It has been accepted that with regards to the 27th to the 31st of January the former President need not appear before the Commission because of the medical reasons he has given the consultation or meeting that the leader of his medical team will have with me.”

This is the third time that Zuma has been unable to reappear before the Commission after his first appearance in July last year.

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