Zondo Commission files application for Zuma to be jailed for two years

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The Zondo Commission of Inquiry has filed an application to have former President Jacob Zuma jailed for two years. 

The Chairperson of the Commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, said earlier this month that if Zuma was allowed to ignore his summons to appear, there would be lawlessness and chaos in the courts being used as a precedent for other witnesses. 

Zuma had failed to appear before the Commission. The former President had furnished the Commission with a letter through his lawyers, alerting it that he would not appear before the commission until Zondo recused himself. 

Zondo had said Zuma had no valid or sound reason for not appearing 

In a letter, Zuma said a court was yet to determine his application to have Zondo recused.

He further said the summons which was issued for his appearance from February the 15th to the 19th was irregular and not in line with the court’s order earlier this year. 

Below is the letter from Jacob Zuma’s lawyers:

DA describes Zuma’s actions as shocking

The Democratic Alliance (DA) at the time described the former president’s non-appearance at the Commission as shocking. DA Shadow Minister for Justice and Correctional Services Glynis Breytenbach said Zuma should suffer the consequences of his defiance of the law.

“His contempt of the court and the Commission cannot be tolerated and those who say they will prevent his arrest are nothing more than overgrown schoolyard bullies. The South African Police and the NPA must act quickly to stop this perception that some people are more equal than others.”

Jacob Zuma’s lawyers say he will not appear before the Commission:

The family of Zuma said there was no amount of persuasion that would change his view of Zondo.

They said the African National Congress (ANC) national leadership was welcome to meet with Zuma but that he wouldn’t testify before the State Capture Commission if  Zondo did not recuse himself.

His son Edward Zuma said at the time, “If the leadership of the ANC wants to engage with former President Jacob Zuma, they are free to do that. I mean [former] President Zuma is their member. He is a member of the African National Congress. Whatever the leadership request, you will be able to listen to them. However, what we want to emphasize, if ever they are trying or their attempt is to convince him to change the decision that he has taken, well, I might as well say ‘no, it’s not going to happen.’ We are sticking to what we’ve said whether you tried to convince him or not convince. He’s not going to change and when maintaining the position, we support him.”

Zuma believes that there is a level of bias against him and a lack of impartiality.

The former president also made it clear that he did not believe the concept of State Capture existed, and that it was a political and not an investigative project.

Zuma’s lawyer’s letter to the commission stated that Zuma was “of the firm view” that Zondo’s alleged bias against him stems from “personal matters and strained relations that the chairperson ought to have disclosed right at the beginning of the inquiry.”

MKMVA supports Zuma

Meanwhile, Mkhonto we Sizwe Military Veteran’s Association (MKMVA) said it was ready to defend Zuma from arrest.

MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe said their members would not allow the arrest of Zuma to be effected.

MKMVA members continue to camp outside Zuma’s Nkandla home.