Defiant Zuma lets Zondo commission know: I am not testifying
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Johannesburg - As the Zondo Commission sets the stage for former president Jacob Zuma to take the stand before it on Monday, the former head of state has confirmed to the inquiry that he would defy its summons which was aimed to compel him to attend.
The commission had set aside the whole week, from 15-19 February, for Zuma’s testimony where he was expected to give his evidence on the number of allegations levelled against him relating to state capture and corruption.
Despite the ruling by the Constitutional Court ordering him to obey the commission last month, Zuma has stuck to his guns and said he was prepared to be jailed for his defiance, as he accused the inquiry’s chairperson, Deputy Justice Raymond Zondo of being biased against him.
On Monday morning, Zuma’s lawyer Eric Mabuza told the commission in a letter that Zuma would not be showing face before it, as he was still pursuing a review application to set aside Zondo’s refusal to recuse himself from hearing matters relating to the former president and his family.
Mabuza pointed out that the high court was still to determine Zuma’s application and that the summons issued against him by the commission were irregular.
“Appearing before DCJ Zondo in the circumstances would undermine and invalidate the review application over his decision not to recuse himself. We also place it on record that the review application was not before the Constitutional Court and, accordingly, was not considered, determined and/or adjudicated by that court,”Mabua said.
He said Zuma’s refusal to appear before the commission “should not be construed to suggest any defiance of a legal process” and that all his rights were received.
Last month, however pointed out that he would be defiant should he be dragged to the commission, and said, “in the circumstances, I am left with no other alternative but to be defiant against injustice as I did against the apartheid government”.
Zuma accused SA’s laws of being “politicized even at the highest court in the land” after the apex court slammed his continued defiance of the commission and described it as a direct breach of the law.
Zuma pointed out that he did not fear being arrested as a result of his defiance.
Following the conclusion of its national executive committee (NEC) meeting on Sunday, the ANC reiterated its support for the commission and called on all its members and leaders to obey and cooperate with it.
Zondo was on Monday expected to respond to the letter sent by Mabuza to the commission’s secretary, Professor Itumeleng Mosala.