Jacob Zuma lawyers try to boot Zondo from SC Inquiry
Former president Jacob Zuma has launched his attempt to have State Capture Inquiry (SCI) judge Raymond Zondo recused from proceedings.
Why is Jacob Zuma trying to have Judge Zondo recused?
On Monday, proceedings of the SCI were averted to a more pertinent issue involving Zuma’s appearance in the inquiry.
The former president’s attorney Muzi Sikhakhane SC put it before the commission that there are indications of bias that may threaten his client’s position in the inquiry into state capture.
Already, Sikhakhane alleged, the commission has been tainted by Zondo’s comments about Zuma in his absence.
These, the lawyer continued, have created a notion that the SCI has prejudged the former president as responsible for the pillaging of state funds that allegedly occurred during his tenure as head of state.
Zondo details his personal relationship with Zuma
The other part of the recusal application dealt with Zondo’s personal relationship with the former president. As reported by News24, the sister of one of Zuma’s wives, Thobeka Madiba, has a child with Zondo from 25 years ago.
The judge also admitted that he and Zuma have a cordial relationship, outside of politics. Responding to Sikhakhane, Zondo revealed that he met the former president in the early 90s.
Back then, the deputy chief justice explained, his association with Zuma was metered by private litigation he offered the ANC, a political party he supported at the time.
“After my appointment as a Judge in 1997, my interactions with Mr Zuma were of a personal nature and largely occurred when we met in government function. Our personal relationship has been cordial and pleasant one over the years but did not, generally speaking, involve discussions of any serious nature,” Zondo explained.
At the time of publishing this article, Sikhakhane was still submitting the merits for his recusal application. The inquiry is expected to rule on the matter in Monday’s sitting.