Former President Jacob Zuma indicated that he will not be participating in the proceedings at the Constitutional Court in an application brought by the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
The Commission applied to the court to force Zuma to appear between January 18 and 22, 2021 as well as between February 15 and 19.
The State Capture Commission wants Zuma to answer to allegations made against him by more than 30 witnesses, including former ministers and deputy ministers, former directors-general, members of parliament, and former executives of SOEs.
Mabuza Attorneys acting on behalf of Zuma reportedly sent a letter to the Acting Registrar of the Constitutional Court Dumisani Mathiba informing the court that Zuma will not be participating in the proceedings at all.
Zuma’s lawyers write to the Constitutional Court
The Commission also wants the court to declare unlawful Zuma’s abrupt walk-out of the commission’s proceedings on November 19, 2020.
The hearing at the Constitutional Court has been set for December 29, 2020.
Zuma walks out of inquiry before he could take the witness stand:
DCJ says the law is binding and it was not up to him ( Mr. Zuma) to excuse himself. #StateCaptureInquiry
— State Capture Commission (@StateCaptureCom) November 23, 2020
State Capture Commission to lay a criminal charge against Zuma
Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo decided that the Secretary of the Commission should lay a criminal charge against former President Jacob Zuma with South African Police Service ( SAPS).
Zondo says that the Secretary of the Commission will still issue summons containing the dates at which Zuma will be required to come back and appear before the commission.
Zondo says , “Given the seriousness of Mr. Zuma’s conduct and the impact that his conduct may have on the work of the commission and the need to ensure that we give effect to the constitutional provisions that everyone is equal before the law, I have decided to request the Secretary of the Commission to lay a criminal complaint with the South African Police against Mr. Zuma.”
The Deputy Chief Justice was responding to the former President’s legal team’s decision to walk out of the commission. Zondo’s response comes as calls mount from civil society organisations for him to deal decisively with Zuma.
The former President walked out of the commission in Johannesburg 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.
Professor Cathy Powell, Associate Professor in Public Law at the University of Cape Town on the issue: