New recording surfaces of Jessie Duarte telling ANC leaders to find a 'solution' for Jacob Zuma

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ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte
ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte
PHOTO: Adrian de Kock
  • ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte told the top six they should find a "solution" for former president Jacob Zuma, it emerged in an audio clip.
  • She also described Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as a "disappointment".
  • She said that the state capture inquiry has been turned into "a court of law".

Another recording of a closed high-level ANC meeting has surfaced and in it, deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte can be heard telling fellow officials that they should find a "solution" for former president Jacob Zuma after he defied a Constitutional Court order.

The order related to his refusal to appear before the state capture inquiry, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

In the recording, Duarte also described Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng as a "disappointment" when she said that the possibility was raised of, presumably the ANC, approaching him with a request for another judge to hear Zuma's evidence.

From the references which Duarte made, it appeared that the recording was taken at the ANC's top six meeting with Zuma on 28 March.

In it, Duarte referred to the ANC's view that Zuma and other ANC leaders should appear before the commission: 

Personally, I believe that it's not a good thing for Comrade Zuma to do.

She mentioned what she called "personal antagonism" between Zuma and Zondo, who fathered a child with the sister of a woman who later became one of Zuma's wives.

This, in her view, would prejudice Zuma, as well as the "unfortunate way in which Judge Zondo presented himself after he presided, as Comrade Zuma said, over his own case of bias".

'Doesn't augur well'

Her comment was a reference to Zondo's dismissal of Zuma's application for his recusal.

Duarte also took issue with the way in which Zondo "made statements about he's (Zuma) not my friend".

"It doesn't augur well for a judge to go into that granular kind of detail."

She also said she believed that the commission of inquiry had been turned into "a court of law".

She said:

They almost have a prosecutorial attitude towards people who come to give evidence.

She said she was one of those in the ANC who convinced former MP Vincent Smith to give evidence before the commission but that, a week later, he found himself in court, facing a criminal case.

Smith is being accused of taking bribes from the now-defunct security and facilities company Bosasa, although he denied that it made him treat the company favourably when he was the chairperson of the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services.

READ | NPA's plans to charge Vincent Smith with tax fraud, evasion 'premature, sensationalist' - lawyer

Duarte said the possibility was proposed "of approaching the chief justice".

She said what the commission "is supposedly looking for is corroborative evidence" from Zuma. "Could that be done with another judge in mind?" she asked.

But she added that the party wasn't "confident about the judiciary at the moment" and that she would like to hear from Zuma "whether or not he would not still be prepared to consider that element".

Duarte said the reason why she had no confidence in Mogoeng was because he "behaves as if he has no understanding of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa", because of the value he attached to his Christianity.

"Any regime that is attached to religion is a disaster," Duarte said, mentioning the apartheid regime and that of the former German leader Adolf Hitler as examples.

Lashed out at ANC

The Judicial Conduct Committee ordered Mogoeng last month to apologise after he told a webinar, organised by The Jerusalem Post, that he was under an obligation as a Christian to love Israel and pray for Jerusalem's peace, which meant the country's peace.

Duarte also lashed out at the ANC for ordering its members not to show support for Zuma when he appeared in court, because it made it difficult for those who wanted to assist Zuma to do so.

She also said that if it was true that ANC MP Mandla Mandela travelled to Qatar to tell the Emir there not to meet with Zuma, as alleged by Zuma in the meeting, then Mandela "needs to be challenged and he needs to be asked why [he] would do something so ridiculous, given the circumstances, given what we are facing in the ANC at the moment?".

Both Duarte and party spokesperson Pule Mabe were approached for verification, but neither have responded.

Their comment will be added once received.

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