Former President Jacob Zuma has requested State Capture Commission of Inquiry Chairperson, Deputy Chief Judge Raymond Zondo to recuse himself as the chair.
In a letter, his lawyer, Eric Mabuza, sent to the commission, Zuma says he feels that Zondo is biased against him and therefore, must step aside and allow a different judge to preside over the State Capture Commission.
Last week, Zondo said he was not willing to negotiate with Zuma and his legal team on a date when he should appear before the commission. He then said that Zuma would be summoned to appear from 16 to 20 November as many of the witnesses have mentioned his name during their evidence on state capture and the Guptas.
State Capture Commission issues new date for Jacob Zuma to appear before the commission:
The letter to Zondo was sent on Monday afternoon. The Deputy Chief Justice is yet to respond.
On Thursday, war of words erupted between Zuma and Zondo over Zuma’s failure to appear before the commission.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation accused Zondo of being selective, inconsistent, and obsessed with the former president after the Deputy Chief Justice said the dates for Zuma to appear before the commission were non-negotiable.
Some politicians and analysts believe the utterances by Zuma were tantamount to an attack on the judiciary.
Jacob Zuma Foundation’s letter to Deputy Chief Justice Zondo deemed as an attack on the judiciary:
Deputy Justice Zondo said he would hear an application by the commission’s legal team for a summons to be brought for Zuma after the former president’s legal team said he could not appear before the commission last week due to his age. They argued that his doctors had advised him to limit his movements during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zuma has in the past indicated that despite his misgivings about the legality of the commission and its terms of reference, he respected it and would co-operate.