Zuma: Zondo can't make ruling on recusal because of friendship statement

Former President Jacob Zuma has filed another affidavit in which he said that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was downplaying their relationship and insisting it was because they're friends.

FILE: Former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture inquiry in Johannesburg on 17 November 2020. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News.

JOHANNESBURG - Former President Jacob Zuma maintains that Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo can't make a ruling on their relationship and the request for his recusal from the state capture inquiry because he has made a statement about it.

Zuma has filed another affidavit in which he said that Zondo was downplaying their relationship and insisting it was because they're friends.

The former president said that after Zondo was appointed chairperson of the commission, they met at his official residence for a briefing.

After Zondo denied any friendship between him and Zuma, the former president responded in a statement, saying in part: “It is a trite principle that a judge cannot sit in his own case or adjudication of factual disputes arising from his own statement of facts, judged against allegations raising disputes about such a statement.”

Zuma argues that his version of events was not consistent with that of the deputy Chief Justice, so Zondo could not be the person deciding if their relationship could affect the impartiality of his work.

He also cited Zondo’s insistence that he had never been to his presidential office or official residence, saying as soon as he had appointed Zondo to head the state capture commission of inquiry, the pair met at his Durban residence for a briefing.

Zondo is meanwhile expected to deliver his decision on Thursday morning on Zuma’s demand for his recusal.

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