UPDATE | Zuma vs Zondo: Judgment in recusal bid to be delivered on Thursday

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Former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission.
Former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission.
Sharon Seretlo, Gallo Images
  • Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is now expected to announce his decision on former president Jacob Zuma's recusal application on Thursday at 10:00.  
  • On Monday, the commission heard Zuma's application demanding Zondo recuse himself.  
  • Zuma's counsel argued that the commission had bought into a narrative that the former president "messed up our country".

Judgment in former president Jacob Zuma's bid for state capture inquiry chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to recuse himself, will now be delivered on Thursday at 10:00.

Zondo was expected to announce his decision on Wednesday morning at 10:00 but delayed it until 15:00. 

In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, commission secretary Prof Itumeleng Mosala said:

"This morning Mr Zuma furnished the commission with a statement/affidavit which the chairperson needs to consider. In the light of this, the chairperson will no longer deliver the ruling at 15h00 but will do so at 10h00 tomorrow (Thursday)."

READ: BREAKING | Zuma on relationship with Zondo: I dispute that we were never friends

On Monday, the commission heard Zuma's application demanding that Zondo recuse himself.

During arguments on Monday, Zuma's counsel, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane said the commission had bought into a narrative that Zuma "messed up our country" by hearing testimony from "sweetheart witnesses", like Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan, "spewing all sorts of things from their moral high ground", News24 reported.

READ | Establishment of state capture inquiry was 'politically motivated' - Jacob Zuma's lawyer

He added Zondo's comments during the testimony meant "political witnesses" latched on to those positions.

"Those witnesses were treated with a certain deference," Sikhakhane said, adding that it indicated a "mind that is inclined to agree with a particular type of witness".

And this, he said, led Zuma to view the commission as "the grave to bury him".

He also told Zondo that if they lose the application, they'll review it, and if he is forced to bring Zuma to the stand, "he'll exercise his right to say nothing".

Meanwhile, the commission's evidence leader, advocate Paul Pretorius SC, said Zondo's recusal will collapse the commission. He also said there was no indication of actual bias placed on record and that Zondo was obliged to do everything in his power to ensure Zuma appears before the commission.

Pretorius also said so far, the former president had not provided the commission with his full cooperation.

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