Zuma has not indicated that he plans to defy summons, lawyers tell Zondo commission

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Former president Jacob Zuma leaves the Raymond Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
Former president Jacob Zuma leaves the Raymond Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
(Photo by Gallo Images/Sowetan/Thulani Mbele
  • Former president Jacob Zuma has not indicated that he plans to defy the summons served on him in October.
  • The commission said if Zuma failed to appear, one of its options would be to approach the Constitutional Court to secure his attendance. 
  • After one appearance at the commission, Zuma had since been either ill or had a prior engagement.

Former president Jacob Zuma's attorneys have told the commission of inquiry into state capture that he has not indicated to the commission that he plans to defy the summons served on him in October.

This was stated in a letter - seen by News24 - to the Secretary of the Commission, Professor Itumeleng Mosala.

"You are free to take any step you deem appropriate. Our client's rights are reserved," Mabuza Attorneys stated in the letter.

A summons for Zuma to return to the commission was issued in October, in terms of the commission's rules, News24 reported.

It said it may approach the Constitutional Court to get Zuma to answer questions in the forum.

Zuma is scheduled to appear before the commission next week, between 16 and 20 November.

He appeared in July last year, and subsequent attempts at scheduling his return had been stymied by illness or a prior engagement.

Zuma's lawyer, Eric Mabuza, told News24 earlier this month that he had received a letter from the commission as to whether Zuma would attend. 

"They said if we don't [reply], they will go to the Constitutional Court," Mabuza said at the time.

Last month, Zuma's attorney indicated that he might bring an application for the recusal of Zondo due to a family history between Zondo and Zuma. 

Zondo recently broke his silence ahead of the possible recusal application to explain that he had a child with Zuma's sister-in-law about 25 years ago, long before Zuma married the child's aunt, Thobeka Madiba.

- Additional reporting by Jenni Evans
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