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Jacob Zuma says Zondo commission was illegal, calls for review

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo hands over the final judicial commission on the state capture report to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo hands over the final judicial commission on the state capture report to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jun 27, 2022

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Pretoria - Former President Jacob Zuma has asserted that he would not bow to recommendations made by the State Capture report penned by its commission chairperson Chief Justice Raymond Zondo because it was “illegal”, “unlawful” and “irrational”.

Zuma also announced his intentions to review parts of the Zondo Commission report in which he was directly implicated.

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He also wants the courts and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to look into his purported personal relationship with Justice Zondo while looking into the Chief Justice’s refusal to recuse himself from the commission to be investigated.

Zuma responded through the Jacob Zuma Foundation spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi, to the six-part-report at a press briefing on Saturday.

His legal team, led by Advocate Dali Mpofu and daughter Duduzile Zuma, was also present at the briefing.

The chief justice handed over the last instalment of the report to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday last week, in which he recommended that Zuma be investigated, with the intention for possible prosecution for corruption, money laundering and fraud.

Justice Zondo also found that Zuma enabled the Gupta family to capture the state through the public sector and therefore being a “puppet” for the family for self-interest.

According to the report, Zuma and former state security minister Siyabonga Cwele also stopped an investigation by the Hawks into former spy boss Arthur Fraser.

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Fraser was later appointed director-general of the State Security Agency and Correctional Services commissioner, and in return he released Zuma on medical parole when he was jailed for contempt of court for refusing to testify the before Zondo commission.

Efforts to reach Justice Zondo and his office came to nil yesterday.

At the briefing, Manyi said Justice Zondo, in almost four and half years, “dismally” failed to find evidence “beyond innuendo and conjecture” to prove that Zuma had abdicated his executive authority to the Guptas and was thus “captured” by them.

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He said: “Instead, Justice Zondo dabbled into areas best suited to be dealt with by either the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, (HAWKS) or the newly established Investigative Directorate within the National Prosecuting Authority.

“Given that it’s almost half a decade since this investigation began, the Foundation deemed it appropriate to quickly remind South Africans of the pertinent history around this inquiry and put it into the correct context.

Manyi also said Zondo was not worthy of being a judge following his conduct at the commission.

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“To say Chief Justice Zondo is unworthy of being called a judge would be a serious understatement. Chief Justice Zondo fails the most basic of the tests even for the most junior judge. No self-respecting judge worthy of that title sits in a case where he/she is directly affected and demonstrably conflicted.

“Even during his recent media conference when he was handing over the report to the equally conflicted President (Cyril Ramaphosa) who is under investigations by the Hawks and Public Protector amongst others, he failed to show remorse when responding to journalists' questions whether when looking back he would do anything differently.

He accused Zondo of having deliberated on the two affidavits and decided to dismiss the submission of Zuma in favour of his own affidavit.

“If that is not travesty of justice by the now most senior judge in South Africa then we don’t know the meaning of that term. Without digressing, it is worth mentioning that before the Judicial Service Commission Justice Zondo contradicted his statement about his proximity to President Zuma.” Manyi vowed to take the matter to the courts.

Pretoria News

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