Former president Jacob Zuma has demanded that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo recuse himself as chair of the Commission of Enquiry into State Capture, saying he won’t attend until Zondo has done so.
Mabuza Attorneys, Zuma’s lawyers have written to Zondo, asking him to recuse himself due to his “biased disposition” towards the former president, with Zuma claiming he has been “targeted” by the commission.
The letter, posted on social media by Zuma’s daughter, Dudu Zuma-Sambudla, reads:
“For the reasons to be fully set out in the application to be made soon, we are instructed to seek your recusal as Chairperson of the Commission on the ground that our client reasonably apprehends that you have already adopted a biased disposition towards him and cannot bring an impartial mind to the issues and evidence that relate to him.
“President Zuma’s conclusion that the Chairperson is no longer capable of exercising an independent and impartial mind is fortified by what he views as the unwarranted public statements made by the Chairperson at the said media briefing.”
Last week, Zondo had issued an ultimatum to Zuma and his legal team, when he refused to negotiate on the dates that the former president, should testify at the commission, after an attempt by Zuma’s team to have his appearance delayed yet again.
“This commission does not negotiate dates with witnesses,” Zondo said, when he determined that Zuma will appear before him from the 16th to 20th of November 2020.
The Deputy Chief Justice is set to hear an application on the 9th of October at 9am brought forward by the commission’s legal team for the authorisation for a subpoena against Zuma to appear before the commission.
The application will continue with or without Zuma or his legal team being present.
According to a letter by Zuma’s attorneys, the reasons provided for the former president not appearing before the commission last week included that he was preparing for his arms deal court matter, that doctors had advised that because of his age in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, he should limit his movements and that he was seeking legal advice regarding the amendments of the commission’s regulations, Zondo said.
Read the full letter to Zondo from Zuma’s attorneys here:
— Dudu Zuma-Sambudla (@DZumaSambudla) September 28, 2020