Zondo to deliver ruling on Zuma’s recusal application on Tuesday

Former President Jacob Zuma argues that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s comments showed that he had made up his mind that he is liable for state capture, saying the comments were tantamount to telling witnesses what to say.

Former President Jacob Zuma arrives at the state capture commission of inquiry in Johannesburg on 16 November 2020. Picture: Xanderleigh Dookey/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday said he would deliver a decision on his recusal on Tuesday after hearing submissions from former President Jacob Zuma’s lawyer, Muzi Sikhakhane, and commission evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius.

ALSO READ: Zuma’s lawyer argues Zondo has been putting words in witnesses’ mouths

Zuma argues that Zondo’s comments showed that he had made up his mind that he is liable for state capture, saying the comments were tantamount to telling witnesses what to say.

But Pretorius said it was necessary for Zondo to engage witnesses and Zuma’s reasons were not enough to warrant recusal.

GALLERY: Former President Jacob Zuma at state capture inquiry

Sikhakhane said the deputy chief justice had crossed the line and his comments perpetuated the idea that his client was responsible for state capture.

“Chair, you have the responsibility to assess it and find against us if you must. I can see he wants to take the Stalingrad approach, he does, and let him do it. We will see who wins but we must be constructive about this.

“And it is that attitude that has made things difficult for your commission. It is not you mostly. It is the attitude that I think has a particular slant against Mr Zuma and doubting us,” Sikhakhane said.

But Pretorius disagreed.

“Firstly, he complains about the selection of witnesses and says this shows bias, but having called 257 witnesses, it could not possibly be said that all those witnesses have been called according to a predetermined plan or project,” he said.

Pretorius said the commission was not part of any political conspiracy and has been fair to Zuma.

He said the former president had been given every consideration by the commission when it came to fairness.

“The applicant has not been singled out by the commission for any special treatment. If anything, he may complain that his been given favourable treatment and treated gently. There is no doubt, as my learned friend concedes, that the former president is central to the work of the commission and any potential findings. And that is why chair you want to hear his evidence,” Pretorius said.

Zondo said he would go over all the submissions overnight and deliver his decision on Tuesday.

WATCH: Zondo hears Zuma arguments for recusal from state capture inquiry

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