Zondo commission blinks first

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Tebogo Letsie

The Zondo commission of inquiry on Friday caved under pressure and agreed to furnish former president Jacob Zuma’s legal team with a detailed document outlining “the areas of interest” that the commission’s legal team seeks to explore during Zuma’s testimony before it.

Giving feedback on what transpired during engagements between the two legal teams, commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo indicated there had been “fruitful discussions characterised by respect and a demonstration by both teams to find a way forward.”

“The former president and his legal team have withdrawn their earlier stance to no longer willingly give testimony before the commission,” he said.

Zondo revealed that the decision to backtrack had come in light of the commission’s legal team expressing some willingness to furnish their counterparts with “a document detailing the areas of interest” that Zuma would be questioned on.

The commission resorted to this compromise after Zuma’s lawyers earlier in the day announced that, due to the “concerning” line of questioning, they had decided to withdraw their client’s willful participation in the proceedings.

Read: Zuma, Zondo legal temas at loggerheads

Zondo on Friday said he had now given his legal team two weeks to hand over the detailed document on which areas of interest the former president would be questioned on.

“After this, the two legal teams should agree upon a dates on which the former president will have to avail himself again and testify before this commission. If the two teams fail to agree on dates, they should come back to me and present their arguments and I will intervene.”

Zuma is now expected to appear before the commission in August.

Proceedings were adjourned until Monday when the commission is set to hear testimony on the Estina Dairy farm.


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