- The Zondo commission says it "has nothing to say" about a strongly worded statement issued by former president Jacob Zuma.
- Zuma described reported attempts to probe his children's bank accounts as "cowardice", saying they should not be involved in any investigation into him.
- The statement follows a Sunday Times report which stated the Zondo commission had subpoenaed at least 20 accounts linked to the Zuma family.
The Zondo commission has refused to be drawn into a battle with former president Jacob Zuma after he called out the commission for reportedly including his children in its investigations.
In a statement released on Friday, Zuma said he noted with concern a report by the Sunday Times alleging the Zondo commission had turned its attention to his children's bank accounts.
It reported it had seen subpoenas relating to at least 20 accounts linked to the Zuma family, including a TV production company – belonging to one of Zuma's daughters, Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube – that produces the SABC1 soapie Uzalo.
Zuma stated he "drew the line" at anyone targeting his children in investigations against him and that harassing them was a "declaration of war" in which he would fight back with all his might.
Zuma appealed to the commission and law enforcement agencies to keep his children out of its investigations. He added that while he accepted the commission was "desperate" to hold him to account for his role in alleged state capture, he condemned attempts to target his children by way of "clandestine investigations" in matters they had nothing to do with.
He said it was disturbing that his children became aware of the investigations when journalists called them in the week prior to the publication of the story.
Zuma added his children were not in government and should not be dragged into battles that were "designated to destroy" him. He said if they were identified as part of an investigation, they should be notified in the same way as others implicated and be afforded the same rights.
However, Zondo commission spokesperson Reverend Mbuyiselo Stemela would not be drawn into the furore.
"The commission has nothing to say about former president's statement concerning the latter's children's bank accounts. Should there be something to say, the media will be informed," he said on Saturday.
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