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

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Former president Jacob Zuma
Former president Jacob Zuma
Thulie Dlamini, Gallo Images
  • The state capture commission’s lawyers want to argue for former president Jacob Zuma to be subpoenaed to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo next week.
  • Zuma lawyers say he is not available and has told the inquiry to reschedule.
  • Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo wants Zuma to answer questions later this month.

Former president Jacob Zuma will not be appearing any time soon before the state capture commission as his legal team clashed with the commission over dates for Zuma to appear.

In letters seen by News24, the commission’s lawyers argue for Zuma to be subpoenaed to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on 9 September.

Zondo wants Zuma to answer questions later this month.

But Zuma lawyers say his not available on that date and has told the inquiry to reschedule.

In a letter to Zuma's lawyer, Eric Mabuza, the commission's acting secretary Bridgette Shabalala said: "You are hereby notified that the application for an order by the Chairperson of the Commission authorising that a summons be issued for Mr Jacob Zuma's appearance before the Commission [is in place]."

Mabuza replied to the letter: "We regret to inform you that due to prior commitments our counsel are not available on 9 September 2020. We trust that you will reschedule the hearing of the application to another date suitable to all the parties. All our client's rights are reserved."

It is unclear whether the commission's lawyers will opt to subpoena Zuma. 

READ | 'Where is ubuntu in all of this?' - Zondo set to meet with Zuma's doctors as summons application postponed

Zuma appeared before the Zondo commission in July last year where he made a number of unfounded accusations. 

In January, the commission's legal head postponed a subpoena application after Zuma had indicated that he was too ill to appear before the commission. 

He was said to have been unavailable until March, but then the Covid-19 pandemic gripped the country. 

The unfolding drama comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa last month gazetted amended regulation 11 of the state capture commission which will allow law enforcement agencies to access evidence presented at the commission.

The amendment states that notwithstanding the provisions of this regulation, any employee of the commission shall not, after it has concluded its work, be precluded from being employed or appointed on a consultancy basis by any law enforcement agency and after being so employed or appointed be precluded from using or disclosing information, records or documents obtained by him or her during the course of his or her employment by the commission.

The amendment further notes the regulation does not derogate from the statutory powers and duties of any law enforcement agency and the commission.

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