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Zondo dismisses Zuma's recusal application

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has dismissed former President Jacob Zuma's application for his recusal from the state capture inquiry.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Zondo during the first public hearing on state capture allegations in Johannesburg on 20 August 2018. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has dismissed former President Jacob Zuma's application for his recusal from the state capture inquiry.

In handing down his ruling on the matter on Thursday morning, Zondo said that there were no grounds to support Zuma's claims that the two men were friends.

"In light of the fact that the applicant does not dispute most of the facts set out in paragraph 7 of my statement, I'm of the opinion that of the undisputed facts, there was not the kind of relationship between myself and the applicant such as would disqualify me from chairing this commission nor is it a proper ground for me to recuse myself."

Zuma had filed an application for Zondo to step aside, claiming he'd already decided that the former president was guilty.

Zondo took the commission through the historical context of the inquiry, explaining how it was set up, and by who, based on the findings of the Public Protector's report.

He also detailed the process of getting Zuma to appear before the commission up until this point.

Zondo said that there was no merit to Zuma's claims that the commission has been biased against him based on comments made by Zondo during some of the evidence by witnesses who'd implicated the former president in state capture.

"There is no difficulty in me seeking clarification from witnesses and testing their evidence. What is important is to strike the right balance. I'm of the view that that balance has been correctly struck in regard to most, if not all, the comments about which the applicant complains."

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