Former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Former president Jacob Zuma at the Zondo commission. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry – November 19, 2020

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Nov 19, 2020

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Johannesburg – The chairman of the commission into allegations of state capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, will on Thursday deliver his ruling on the application by former president Jacob Zuma to have Zondo recuse himself.

Zondo was due to deliver his ruling on Wednesday afternoon but Zuma furnished the commission with an affidavit challenging a statement Zondo made on Monday in which he said the two were not friends and Zuma had no role in his appointment.

In the affadavit, Zuma challenged Zondo’s assertion that he had no role to play in his appointment as a judge in 1997, insisting he influenced the appointment through the ANC.

Zuma added that he was the national chairperson of the ANC in 1997 which entitled him, during the presidency of Nelson Mandela, to be part of government discussions in the appointment of black people to the bench.

He insisted that he was part of the serious discussion in the country, saying “during president Mandela’s administration, the ANC was consulted on a wide range of issues regarding judicial appointment”.

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“I understand that in referring to me as ‘only an MEC’, the chairperson is attempting to downplay my role in order to demonstrate that he couldn’t have relied on me for his ascendancy,” Zuma said.

“It is common cause that at the time I was also the national chairperson of the ANC and the provincial chairperson of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal.

“These were indeed positions of influence within the ruling party – the ANC. Accordingly, his attempt to communicate that I was insignificant in the national political arena is untrue.”

Zuma also disputed Judge Zondo’s statement that he has never been at his official residence during his presidency.

Zuma insists that the two are friends. He said when Judge Zondo visited him at his Forest Town home, he warned him about the consequences of their friendship, saying “we discussed, amongst other things, how our friendship, if not managed properly, could jeopardise his judicial ambitions or rise within the ranks of the judiciary”.

Political Bureau

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