State capture inquiry: Zuma won't appear before Zondo commission, lawyer confirms

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Former president Jacob Zuma.
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Thulani Mbele, Gallo Images, Sowetan
  • Former president Jacob Zuma was meant to appear before the Zondo commission into state capture from Monday to Friday.
  • Zuma recently indicated he would defy a summons for him to appear before the commission.
  • The Constitutional Court recently found that Zuma must appear before the inquiry.

Former president Jacob Zuma, strongly linked to allegations of widespread corruption involving the Gupta family, has informed the commission of inquiry into state capture that he won't be appearing before it this week.

Zuma's lawyers, Mabuza Attorneys, have written to the commission, informing its officials of this.

KARYN MAUGHAN | Zuma won't pitch at state capture inquiry and his silence will end up hurting him

They claim the summons issued for Zuma to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is "irregular".

Last month, the Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma was compelled to appear before the commission and that, when he did appear, he could not remain silent.

Justice Chris Jafta ordered that Zuma had to show that by answering a question truthfully he would be incriminating himself.

READ | Constitutional Court rules that Zuma must testify before Zondo commission

In its letter, Mabuza Attorneys writes that Zuma's review application against Zondo's refusal to recuse himself is "yet to be determined by the court".,

It also states that the summons calling the former president to appear before the inquiry "is irregular and not in line with the Fourth Order of the Constitutional Court judgment of 28 January 2021".

"Appearing before DCJ [Zondo] in the circumstances, would undermine and invalidate the review application over his refusal not to recuse himself," it further argues.

It notes that the review application has not been placed before the Constitutional Court and, as such, the court has "not considered, determined and/or adjudicated" on the matter.

Zuma's legal representatives then tell the commission that their position "should not be construed to suggest any defiance of a legal process".

Appeals to Zuma

After the Constitutional Court order, Zuma hit back at the judgment, saying he had no choice but to defy its instructions.

"I do not fear being arrested, I do not fear being found guilty nor do I fear being incarcerated," the former president said in a statement in response to the judgment.

Appeals by members of his own party and others for him to appear before Zondo had failed.

On Monday morning, evidence leader advocate Paul Pretorius told the commission why Zuma needed to appear at the inquiry, listing a string of allegations against the ex-head of state.

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