Jacob Zuma to meet ANC’s top six amid standoff with Zondo Commission
Johannesburg - The ANC’s NEC top six officials are set to meet with former president Jacob Zuma as his standoff with the Zondo Commission continues following his refusal to appear before the commission despite being ordered to do so by the Constitutional Court.
Zuma had been scheduled to appear before the Zondo Commission from Monday, February 15 to Friday, February 19, but true to his statement from earlier this month in which he said that the country’s judiciary had for far too long treated him unfairly and made rulings with the sole aim of humiliating him.
Zuma has insisted that he would not appear before the commission with Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo as its chairperson because of “a well-founded apprehension of bias and a history of personal relations between the Deputy Chief Justice and myself”.
Zuma has said that Zondo’s decision not to recuse himself from presiding over the proceedings did not provide him the certainty of a fair and just hearing.
ANC secretary-general Ace Magashule said that the top six was now scheduled to have its own meeting with Zuma, although it was unclear when and where this meeting would take place.
Zuma’s spokesperson Vukile Mathabela and his lawyer Eric Mabuza could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
Police Minister Bheki Cele was the latest political leader to head to Zuma’s homestead in Nkandla to hold talks with him which he said were to raise his concerns and hear the concerns of the former head of state.
Despite Cele saying that he would report back to the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on his meeting with Zuma, Magashule said that he was not privy of the details of Thursday’s meeting between the pair.
“As the top six, the national executive committee has mandated us and we have interacted with President Zuma to have an engagement, a meeting, which all of us have been actually looking forward to have.
“So that meeting will take place, so I’m sure after all the proper arrangements have been made, we will inform you that such a meeting will actually take place. That’s a meeting which is necessary and important for the ANC,” Magashule said.
Magashule, who faces fraud and corruption charges linked to the R255 million Free State asbestos project during his tenure as Free State Premier, is set to appear before the Bloemfontein High Court in August on August 11 after his case was postponed on Friday.
“I have said I am innocent until proven otherwise. I am speaking with confidence that during my term, there is nothing untoward, there was no wrongdoing, there was no corruption during my term. It’s for a court of law to judge otherwise,” Magashule said.
EFF leader Julius Malema and former party chairperson Dali Mpofu flew to Nkandla two weeks ago to meet with Zuma.
However, the contents of the meeting were not disclosed.
Malema was the first leader to meet with Zuma after the commission had said it would ask the Constitutional Court to act on his defiance by failing to show up at the commission.