Whether former President Jacob Zuma will ever appear before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture remains uncertain. Zuma’s lawyers said he will no longer be appearing before the State Capture Inquiry this week.
Five days from 18-22 January had been set aside to hear the former president’s testimony.
Zuma instructed his lawyers to write to the Zondo Commission saying that he could not appear on Monday. The letter stated that Zuma could only be forced to appear once his legal bid for Zondo’s recusal has been decided upon by the Constitutional Court.
Last year, Deputy Chief Justice and Chairperson of the State Capture Commission, Raymond Zondo, turned down an application for his recusal brought by Zuma.
This is what his lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane said they would do, moving forward.
“I’m appealing to your honesty about your certain errors. It’s law because we look at how to tighten claims of bias that are raised by lawyers and litigants simply to disqualify a judge. And so, it is important that we make that balance. And because it is not made clear, so balance is a state of mind. But what are we to do when we ask a judge to recuse themselves?”
Zuma did not appear before the Commission:
However, it is not the first time the former president has failed to appear before Zondo. Between the 21st and the 25th of September last year, Zuma was a no show, leading to his appearance to be moved to November, which saw his claim that Zondo is biased against him.
However, legal expert Ulrich le Roux says the former president can only be forced to appear once his legal bid to get the chairperson of the inquiry recused, has been decided.
“I cannot see any reason as to how he can be compelled or how a warrant of his arrest can be issued forcing him to testify before the Commission prior to their certainty to this issues.”
Meanwhile, with two months left before the Commission concludes its work, Zondo has announced that the Commission will approach the High Court for a three-month extension.