Raymond Zondo speaks out on Zuma ruling: Here’s what he said
DCJ Raymond Zondo is not phased by antics from Zuma’s camp: “Somebody had to do it and I agreed to do it, and I will do it again.”
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo faced a heap of questions from the media, on Wednesday, a day after former president Jacob Zuma was sentenced to 15 months in prison for blatantly refusing to return to the State Capture Inquiry.
Raymond Zondo speaks on Zuma ruling
Zondo was probed on a number of issues, including the commission’s intention to seek an extension and further funding to complete its work.
Thus far, the commission’s chairperson has presided over more than 330 hearings in a span of 418 days, since the inquiry started with its work in August 2018.
It will be three years in exactly two months from now and still, there are a few pieces of the ‘state capture’ puzzle still missing, Zondo revealed.
However, the most pertinent question that lingered in the presser was the chairperson’s reaction to the Constitutional Court ruling that sent the political world into a frenzy.
Zondo noted the scathing remarks Zuma has made about his credibility as a judge, as well as that of other ConCourt justices.
“The Constitutional Court has spoken, and has made it quite clear that in our constitutional democracy, a situation cannot. be allowed where all kinds of unfounded allegations can be thrown at the judiciary,” Zondo said.
For the first time ever, the chairperson admitted that it has not been an easy road, presiding over an inquiry of this magnitude.
“I have personally been subjected to various attacks by Mr Zuma. I have sought to continue to do my work and to do so without fear, favour or prejudice. It has been difficult for myself and my family. But, there is a job to be done and I accepted this job. It is a very important job to be done for the country,” he added.
Zondo made it abundantly clear that despite the adversity he’s faced, his will to see the work of the commission through till its conclusion has not wavered.
“Do I regret taking this job? Not at all. If I was asked to do it again, I would do it again. Our country needed that this job be done, somebody had to do it. The Chief Justice asked me to do it, I had no hesitation in agreeing to do it. I knew that there could be all kinds of challenges, but it was fine. Somebody had to do it and I agreed to do it, and I will do it again,” he asserted.
Zuma tipped to address the nation ‘soon’
Zondo’s comments come at a time where there is growing uncertainty around the former president’s next move. On Wednesday, Zuma had not reported to Nkandla police station as he was instructed to do so by Justice Sisi Khampepe.
The 79-year-old former statesman has four days to hand himself over to authorities. If he fails to do so, it will be the duty of Police Minister Bheki Cele to handle the arrest.
However, those close to the former president, including his son and daughter, Duduzane and Dudu, Zuma remains in high spirits and should be making his next move in the days to come.
The Jacob Zuma Foundation also chimed in moments after the ruling was made, teasing that “it cannot be ruled out that [former] president Zuma may soon address the nation.”
The contents of this alleged address remain unknown, but if Duduzane’s recent Twitter rant is anything to go by, it should be an interesting spectacle, to say the least.