Former president Jacob Zuma makes his way to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Former president Jacob Zuma makes his way to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Zuma: Formation of Zondo commission was politically motivated

By Baldwin Ndaba Time of article published Nov 16, 2020

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Cape Town – Former president Jacob Zuma has criticised the Zondo Commission probing state capture in South Africa, saying its motive was to humiliate him and to link him to state capture.

Zuma made these remarks, through his legal counsel Adv Muzi Sikhakhane, during his formal application on Monday for Judge Zondo to recuse himself.

Sikhakhane also questioned the decision of the government to appoint a single judge to hear the matter, saying it was clear it was not a well thought out decision.

He made these remarks after Judge Zondo asked him what was going to happen if he recused himself and who was going to hear the matter.

“The decision to appoint a single judge was a political blunder. It was politically motivated. It was not well thought out. It was established to sink Mr Zuma and nothing else,” Sikhakhane said.

Sikhakhane also argued in the application that the commission’s line-up of witnesses such as former public enterprise minister Barbara Hogan, former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas and Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula gave his client an impression that Judge Zondo was supporting their version of state capture.

“Mr Pravin Gordhan was portrayed as a conveyancer of the universal truth of state capture,” Sikhakhane said.

According to Sikhakhane, most of the witnesses who appeared before the commission had an axe to grind.

In his papers, Zuma said: “The following witnesses were selected to the exclusion of other cabinet members that could have stated a contrary version.

’’Pravin Gordhan, Public Enterprises Minister; Mcebisi Jonas (former deputy finance minister); Nhlanhla Nene (former finance minister); Ngoako Ramatlhodi (former minister mineral resources0; Vytjie Mentor (former ANC MP); Trevor Manuel (former finance minister); Barbara Hogan; and Themba Maseko (former head of government communication and information systems and Fikile Mbalula.

According to Zuma, the commission failed to investigate the truthfulness of his submission when he appeared before it in July.

However, he did not specify which particular submissions the commission ignored.

After his submission in July, Zuma had to face civil litigation by former environment minister Derek Hanekom after he accused him of being a spy. The court ruled in favour of Hanekom in his defamation case.

Yesterday, Sikhakhane also denied allegations Zuma refused to appear before the commission, saying the former president failed to appear in September last year due to ill-health.

He also said Zuma had to change his attorneys and the new lawyers had to familiarise themselves with the documentation.

Sikhakhane also took a swipe at various organisations and persons who claimed that Zuma was not likely to appear before the commission today.

Political Bureau

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