Calls are mounting from civil society organisations for the Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to deal decisively with former president Jacob Zuma. This after Zuma walked out of the commission last week.
Zuma left the commission in defiance of the summons it had issued against him after he failed in his bid to get Zondo to recuse himself from hearing his testimony.
Zondo expresses dismay after Zuma walks out of Commission without permission:
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse’s CEO Wayne Duvenhage says Zuma’s actions are tantamount to a criminal offence.
“Every possible law in the book indicates that Jacob Zuma needs to answer the questions. The commission makes it very clear that you may not just walk out and that’s a criminal offence. He must be held accountable for breaking the law. That means that he needs to be tried in court and after that happens he must go to jail.”
On Friday, legal expert Pierre de Vos said Zuma leaving the State Capture Commission without permission and not testifying is unlawful.
Zuma, through his counsel, said that he is taking Zondo’s decision on review and will also be laying a complaint with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Pierre De Vos analyses Zondo’s ruling:
De Vos said Zuma was under subpoena, requiring him to testify.
“He is under subpoena so that means he is required to testify and unless the chairperson agrees, he cannot just leave. It might be a criminal offence under the Commission Act, which of course means he will have to be prosecuted and it might be contempt of court so we will have to see. I don’t know what they are going to do, maybe they will approach a court to make such a declaration; we will have to see.”
De Vos further said Zuma’s lawyer’s intention to review Zondo’s recusal decision does not make the subpoena against him disappear.
“Legally, just because you are going to take it on review doesn’t automatically make the subpoena invalid. They can of course get permission from the Chairperson that it does not make sense now because it is taken on review or they can get an urgent interdict to stop the subpoena. But in the absence of that, they cannot just leave; that would be taking the law into your own hands.”
Legal expert says Justice Zondo must act decisively following Zuma walkout:
Meanwhile, the commission will resume its hearings in Johannesburg on Monday with evidence from EOH Holdings CEO Stephen van Coller on cash-flow problems at the company.
EOH is a technology services company, which has in the past secured contracts with government including the Defence Department.
The hearings are expected to start at 10am.
Civil society calls on Raymond Zondo Commission to act decisively against Jacob Zuma: