Ball in Zondo’s court: Jacob Zuma won’t appear at State Capture Inquiry
In a clear show of defiance, former president Jacob Zuma notified the state capture inquiry that, contrary to the Constitutional Court ruling, he will not be appearing before the commission this week.
Jacob Zuma holds true to his threats of defiance
His defence, led by Mabuza Attorneys, issued a statement notifying DCJ Raymond Zondo that the former president will not face questioning from DCJ Raymond Zondo who has yet to conclude matters relating to his recusal application.
“The Commission is aware that the review application which President Zuma has instituted to set aside the refusal by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to recuse himself from hearing matters concerning him and his family is yet to be determined by the court,” the statement read.
Zuma added that his return to the inquiry is “not in line with the Fourth Order of the Constitutional Court judgment f 28 January 2021.”
As shocking as Zuma’s decision is, it may have been expected. In late 2020, the former president lodged a recusal claim against Zondo, noting their alleged close relationship as a conflict of interest in the inquiry’s proceedings.
Zondo, in response, rubbished these claims. Apart from a few engagements over the years, the inquiry’s chairman insisted that no concrete evidence was provided to motivate for a successful recusal.
What will happen now? – Ball is in Zondo’s court
In its first statement released after the ConCourt judgment, the inquiry indicated that a decision would be made on further action to be taken if Zuma held true to his threat of defiance.
The inquiry hadn’t made any announcements at the time this article was published. If the former president doesn’t pitch, then Zondo has the right charge Zuma for being in contempt of court.
It remains to be seen what Zondo’s next move will be..