AS IT HAPPENED | #StateCaptureInquiry will ask ConCourt to imprison Zuma if convicted of 'contempt'

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Judicial commission of inquiry into state capture chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Judicial commission of inquiry into state capture chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
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15 February 14:49


WATCH | Zondo makes announcement on Jacob Zuma non-appearance at commission

15 February 14:47


WATCH | Jacob Zuma no-show at state capture inquiry, proceedings continue

15 February 14:41

And with that, Zondo adjourns the day's proceedings.

The rest of the week was set out for Zuma's appearance at the commission, and as a result, the commission will resume with testimony from other witnesses next week.

15 February 14:39

Zondo: "The commission views Mr Zuma's conduct in a very serious light. Particularly because it's repeated conduct. The commission has not treated Mr Zuma unfairly at all. He has no valid or sound reason for not appearing before the commission."

15 February 14:34

BREAKING: Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo says the state capture inquiry will apply to the Constitutional Court for an order that former president Jacob Zuma is guilty of contempt of court – and will ask that it impose a prison sentence on him, should it find him guilty.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:30

Zondo: There are more than 250 witnesses who appeared before me. None of these witnesses asked me to recuse myself. Only Mr Zuma.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:29

Zondo says that, if people are able to defy summons and orders issued against them, there will be little left of South Africa's democracy. Everyone is equal before the law – and there can't be different rules for different people, he says.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:27

Zondo: First Zuma walked out of the commission proceedings on the 19th of November. Second, he defied a summons for him to appear in January. Now he has done the same.

Zondo: "This is very serious - because if it is allowed to prevail, there will be lawlessness, and chaos."

It can cause chaos in the courts, he says.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:25

Zondo: An order of any court is binding on anyone to whom it applies, and a summons is binding on anyone against whom it is issued. If someone believes the summons is irregular, it is not up to them to defy it. They must challenge that summons in court, Mr Zuma should know that.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:24

Zondo: "It would be a pity if anybody did it, but that this was done by a former president of the Republic, someone who twice stood before the nation and took an oath that he would uphold the Constitution of the Republic, and protect it, is a great pity."

15 February 14:23

Zondo: It is a pity that Mr Zuma has decided not to appear before the commission today, in defiance of the inquiry summons and in defiance of an order issued by the highest court in the land. It is even more of a pity that Zuma did so as a former head of state.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:16

Zondo argues that the commission further made it clear that it believed Zuma did not have a blanket right to remain silent, but could only invoke a limited privilege against self-incrimination.

When Zuma and his lawyers decided not to oppose the inquiry's ConCourt case, Zondo says, they knew this was an issue that the country's highest court would decide. Zuma also had an opportunity to argue that he could not be compelled to appear before him, Zondo says.

It's not clear, the DCJ says, why Zuma chose not to make the arguments he is now making to the ConCourt.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:11

Zondo: "No witness before this commission, including Mr Zuma, has a right to remain silent, once they take the witness stand."

15 February 14:10

Zondo says Zuma was served with the inquiry's Constitutional Court application to compel him to appear and answer questions that did not implicate him. The inquiry argued in that case that Zuma's challenge to Zondo's refusal to recuse himself was NOT a basis for him not to obey the summons issued against him. Zuma and his lawyers chose not to contest that point in the ConCourt and chose not to participate in the case, Zondo says.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:07

Zondo adds he would have to indicate what will happen as a consequence of Zuma's defiance of the summons issued against him.

Zondo: Because Mr Zuma previously fled the commission when he was supposed to take the witness stand, even though he knew he had been issued with a summons…the commission feared that he would not comply with any further summons issued against him. The commission therefore went to the Constitutional Court to ensure his presence.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 14:03

Proceedings resume after the lunch adjournment.

Zondo starts off: "I'm not delivering a judgment, or a ruling, because there is no ruling that I need to make. But I do need to indicate what is to happen as far as the commission is concerned in the light of these latest developments involving Mr Jacob Zuma."

15 February 12:40

Pretorius concludes.

Zondo says there is "no confusion" about what needs to happen as a consequence of Zuma's non-appearance. But he will make an announcement on this after 14:00.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 12:39

Pretorius says the state capture inquiry has itself become a victim of narratives designed to discredit or undermine anyone who stood up against corruption or demanded accountability.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 12:33

Pretorius says there is evidence that the "state capture project…had its public relations arm" – including the Gupta-owned ANN7 and the New Age newspaper, alleged attempts to buy journalists by the SSA, and the R20 million paid to ANA for "positive coverage".

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 12:30

Pretorius says that state capture would not have been possible through the influence of just one person. There are other people who need to account, he says.

Zondo agrees and says this is why he has asked that the ANC also account to the inquiry. "They ought to come to the commission," he says. "They need to come".

Zondo says President Cyril Ramaphosa has promised to account and assured him that the ANC would do so too, No date has been set for these appearances.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 12:28

Pretorius: "There is no doubt, well, perhaps one should not put it that strongly. But there has been clear and convincing evidence that the Gupta family at the very least, let alone those in charge of Bosasa and other institutions, sought directly to influence or even exercise a degree of control over the former president. That evidence is there."

Pretorius: "The degree to which he can explain the apparent cooperation that was linked to those efforts through appointments and dismissals, non-prosecutions, prosecutions and the like. The SSA evidence to the effect that the SSA investigation into the Gupta influence was shut down - that evidence all requires explanation."

15 February 12:19

Pretorius says Zuma needs to be questioned about Parliament's failure to serve as a proper government oversight body.

Zondo: One wonders…whether those who pursued the agenda of state capture would have known that, if you capture the president, indirectly you can ensure that Parliament doesn't investigate matters that it should investigate?

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 12:16

Pretorius says the inquiry will lead further evidence about the alleged money earmarked for Zuma by the SSA over a two-year period – specifically the "first stop" in that money's alleged journey to him.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 12:15

By contrast, Pretorius says, law enforcement officials who pursued cases against politically connected people were themselves prosecuted. It's hard to believe that this was mere coincidence, and it needs to be explained, he says.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 12:05

Pretorius says there is clear evidence that certain politically connected people were protected from prosecution.

"There can be no doubt that those in power knew that corruption was taking place," he says, adding: "so why did they do nothing?"

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 12:04

Pretorius says, after hearing evidence about the hiring and firing of key officials and the subsequent looting of SOEs, the question needs to be asked: where were the defenders of our democracy?

Why did Parliament fail so profoundly to safeguard the integrity of government departments and parastatals? Why did law enforcement seemingly do nothing to prevent and prosecute corruption, but instead targeted people who were fighting it?

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:56

Back from the brief adjournment. Advocate Pretorius continues.

15 February 11:36

Pretorius says Zuma should be required to answer to allegations that his foundation received R300 000 a month from Bosasa and he received R3 million from Dudu Myeni.

There are also questions Zuma should be asked about the R84 million in cash that was allegedly earmarked for him by the SSA's special operations unit.

Pretorius says there is evidence that suggests that cash was used as a vehicle for corruption during the Zuma administration.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:31

Pretorius now refers to evidence of payments and gifts given by corruption-accused facilities management company Bosasa to the ANC and its key officials – including an alleged R300 000 a month cash payment made to Zuma's foundation.

He points to evidence that the state's corruption docket against Bosasa was handed to former South African Airways (SAA) chairperson Dudu Myeni and "sat dormant" for years – as an apparent consequence of Bosasa's alleged bribery.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:26

Pretorius says Zuma also has questions to answer about the Gupta family's landing at Waterkloof – which the former president claimed to have no knowledge of, despite the Guptas being his friends and his son being in business with them.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:25

Pretorius says Zuma also has questions to answer about the SA Revenue Service (SARS) and his alleged personal involvement with Bain, the company whose controversial restructuring of SARS left it in ruins.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:22

Pretorius says Zuma needs to explain why he fired then-finance minister Pravin Gordhan – whose axing was linked to a supposed intelligence report that was widely rubbished by, among others, the SACP, and then-deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:21

Pretorius says Zuma would have been asked to explain why his administration contemplated a nuclear deal with Russia, with no prior funding model having been compiled. Zuma's Cabinet would also need to answer questions about why they agreed to this deal, without having any sense of its cost implications.

The deal, if concluded, "would have cost South Africa dearly", Pretorius says. He adds that Zuma should answer to allegations that he fired then-minister Nhlanhla Nene because he stood in opposition to the nuclear deal.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:19

Pretorius refers to evidence of the pressure placed on the Department of Minerals and Energy to comply with the wishes of the Gupta family. Officials who resisted were fired or, in one instance, accosted by members of the Gupta family.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:18

Pretorius: "The question that would have been put to Mr Zuma, is: 'What was your involvement, your knowledge, your action, your lack of action in relation to this?'"

Pretorius: "Was this just a coincidence? A sequence of coincidental actions, which began with attempts to influence appointments at the most senior government level, through to board executives, well, boards and executives of state-owned entities, through to corruption, through to the benefits that came back to those that sought to influence this course of events in the first place."

Pretorius says the questions would've been posed around whether or not those actions were organised, or if the outcome was intended when these appointments and dismissals were made.

15 February 11:10

Pretorius says Zuma would have been asked about his conduct in relation to the hiring and firing of ministers and SOE officials – which preceded massive corruption and looting at these parastatals.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:09

Pretorius stresses that there needs to be an explanation for why the ANC ignored and did nothing about massive multibillion-rand corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).

There is evidence that Zuma financially benefitted from these deals, he says.

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:08

Pretorius: We also have evidence of cash being given to and taken away from the Guptas' Saxonwold residence.

He questions whether allegations of illicit money flows from the SOEs subsequent to questionable appointments and alleged cash payments to key SOE officials are simply random and coincidental? Or were these the consequences of a deliberate plan?

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:06

Pretorius says the consequence in time, was that there has been evidence of "vast acts corruption, which took massive resources out of those state-owned entities, and placed them in the hands of those very entities and persons who influenced this whole process".

"The question is, was this just a coincidence in time?" Pretorius asks.

15 February 11:04

Pretorius says "there is substantial evidence, requiring an answer...that Mr Zuma involved himself" in the operations of South Africa's now devastated parastatals: Eskom, SAA, Denel, Transnet. There is clear evidence of "vast corruption" at these SOEs after certain key appointments and dismissals made by Zuma, or allegedly driven by him.

Pretorius: Why was Zuma involved in the suspensions that occurred at Eskom? Why would he involve himself in the appointment of the Eskom board?

 - Karyn Maughan

15 February 11:02

Pretorius: "There's substantial evidence that Mr Zuma involved himself directly in the affairs of state-owned entities, executive appointments - and by executive, I'm talking of Cabinet appointments - were followed by appointments of amongst others, boards of and senior executives in state-owned entities."

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