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Zondo to meet Zuma’s medical team over his ill health

Zondo says he hopes the meeting with the medical team will help with looking at dates when Zuma's state of health will not prevent him from appearing.

Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission on 17 July 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is set to meet with the head of former President Jacob Zuma’s medical team over his apparent ill-health after accepting that Zuma won’t be able to testify before the state capture inquiry this month due to his going overseas for treatment.

No details were given of Zuma’s medical condition when the inquiry resumed its work on Tuesday, and it was with reluctance that Zondo accepted the offer from Zuma’s lawyers of a behind-closed-doors briefing on the matter.

Zuma’s legal counsel, Advocate Thabani Masuku, has repeated that he’s willing to testify before the commission.

The former president failed to appear in November again due to ill-health.

Zondo said he hoped the meeting with the head of Zuma’s medical team would help with looking at dates when the former president's state of health would not prevent him from appearing.

Masuku, meanwhile, lambasted the commission for what he called a deep-seated antipathy towards his client.

“In fairness, they cannot ask for an open-ended order that any time he comes out of the hospital, whatever his condition is, whatever the dates are, he must simply come under summons. It’s just not constitutionally compliant and I mean, where is ubuntu in all this?”

Zondo has made it clear that he alone will determine the dates when Zuma is called to testify.

Whether he’ll be summoned to do so is unclear, as it will involve a fresh application from the inquiry’s legal team.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)