Zondo gives Jacob Zuma new 'non-negotiable' dates to appear before state capture inquiry

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Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma
Photo: Felix Dlangamandla
  • Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says former president Jacob Zuma is scheduled to appear before the commission from 16 to 20 November.
  • Zondo says the commission will not negotiate dates with the former president and his lawyers.
  • Zuma's lawyer, Eric Mabuza, previously said his client will not be appearing before the commission this week, adding he was preparing for his criminal trial.

Chairperson of the state capture commission of inquiry Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has announced that the new dates for former president Jacob Zuma's appearance to give evidence will be from 16 to 20 November.  

He said on 9 October at 09:00 the commission will hear an application brought by the legal team of the commission for an order authorising the issuing of summons.

Zondo said if they do not appear the application will proceed without them. 

READ | State Capture: Zuma's legal team in stand off with commission over appearance

"I know that in their letter his attorneys said dates should be negotiated with his or with them, no dates will be negotiated. This commission has made it clear to the attorneys who represented him before that this commission does not negotiate dates with witnesses.

"The commission fixes the dates and people are supposed to appear and if they have good grounds for not appearing, then they make an application and show that they have got good grounds and if I am satisfied that there are good grounds, other dates will be determined. But we will not negotiate dates with witnesses.

"So, the position as it stands is, the application brought by the legal team of the commission for the authorisation of a summons, the issuing of the summons for Mr Zuma will proceed on the 9th of October," Zondo said. 

Zuma was initially scheduled to appear before the commission between 21 and 25 September. However, his lawyers said he would not be appearing.

The former president's attorney, Eric Mabuza, wrote to the Zondo commission, saying it was unfair to expect his client to simultaneously consider evidence and affidavits of more than 30 witnesses in order to prepare himself to appear this month.

Mabuza also said Zuma was currently preparing for his much-anticipated criminal trial, "the importance of which cannot be over-emphasised".

He also said Zuma was engaged in several other cases which required his full attention.

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