Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)
Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency(ANA)

Justice Zondo to rule on Jacob Zuma recusal bid on Thursday

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Nov 18, 2020

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Johannesburg - Former president Jacob Zuma will know on Thursday whether his application for the recusal of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is upheld.

Justice Zondo, who was meant to hand down his decision on Wednesday, has postponed his ruling twice as he was still studying documents to carefully consider the issues.

Zondo said if he ruled against Zuma, he would be expected to take the stand and respond to various witnesses who had allegedly linked him to state capture while he was head of state.

Zuma made the formal application this week, arguing that Zondo had, through the commission, lined up hostile witnesses to testify against him since the commission started its work two years ago.

In his application, Zuma argued that they had used the commission to peddle “lies” that he was responsible for state capture.

He also argued that Justice Zondo treated some of these witnesses, including Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, with kid gloves, saying that Gordhan was portrayed “as a conveyancer of the universal truth of state capture”.

Evidence leader advocate Paul Pretorius said Zuma had failed to lead evidence showing Zondo was biased against him or that the judge had prejudged the matter.

After proceedings ended on Tuesday, Zuma, through his legal counsel, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, asked Justice Zondo for an opportunity to react to a statement the chairperson made before he heard the application. In the statement, Justice Zondo said he had no relationship with Zuma.

Political Bureau

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