Former President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers are optimistic that judgment in his application for the recusal of Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will be in their client’s favour.

Zuma has accused Zondo of being biased against him.

Hennie van Vuuren is the director of non-governmental organisation Open Secrets says, “He’s trying to effectively test the strength of our judiciary and I think that it is a very dangerous political game. It would force the Deputy Chief Justice to consider bringing charges against former president Zuma.”

Zuma wants Justice Zondo to recuse himself:

Zuma subpoenaed to appear before Commission

A heated exchange between former President’s lawyers and the State Capture Commission’s secretary Itumeleng Mosala has ensued days before Zuma’s expected to return to the inquiry.

Zuma was subpoenaed to appear before the Commission from 16th to 20th November after he failed to appear on several occasions.

On Thursday Zuma filed an application for Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to recuse himself as the commission chair due to their personal relations among other reasons. This was after Mosala warned Zuma’s attorney, Eric Mabuza, on Wednesday that even if the application were filed, Zuma was still expected to appear come Monday.

This after the former President failed to appear before the Commission between September the 21st and the 25th.

SABC’s Ntlantla Kgathlane reports:


Heated exchange

Zuma’s lawyer Eric Mabuza has told State Capture commission secretary, Itumeleng Mosala not to “bully” his client.

In a strong-worded letter, Mabuza said Mosala had no authority to warn the former president of anything adding that Mosala’s conduct was uncalled for and will only serve to harden attitudes in the matter.

Legal expert Ulrich Roux says the chances of this application being successful are slim.

“One cannot really prove or show that any decisions that have been made were made because of the existing relationship which is being pointed out by Zuma, so they will now have to bring the application in the High court and if the high court dismisses the application they would have an opportunity to appeal to the Supreme court of appeal and then the last option would be to approach the constitutional.”

Roux says while the application may not succeed in having Deputy Chief Justice Zondo recuse himself, it will succeed in delaying Zuma’s appearance at the Commission…

“If one looks at Zuma’s previous strategies pertaining to litigation against him it’s always been the strategy of kicking the can down the road and try to prolong matters as far as possible and I think this is exactly the same strategy. I do think this is a frivolous application and I don’t think that it has any chance of being successful, but it will be successful in stalling Zuma’s testimony in front of the Commission.”

On Friday, Mosala released a statement saying that attempts to obtain clarity on whether Zuma will comply with the summons have been unsuccessful. He said Zuma’s lawyers informed the Commission that their client had not told them that he would defy the summons. He said the recusal application will be heard on Monday at 10h00.

Experts label it a desperate attempt to hide the truth: