Allegations made against Zuma at Zondo Inquiry are serious - ConCourt

Earlier on Thursday, the court issued an order compelling Jacob Zuma to appear before the commission and give evidence, saying he had no right to remain silent.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has described the allegations made against former President Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission as serious and if established, posed a threat to the country’s democracy.

Earlier on Thursday, the court issued an order compelling Zuma to appear before the commission and give evidence, saying he had no right to remain silent.

In addition, if he invoked privilege on the basis that he would incriminate himself, he had to provide explanations to support it.

READ: ConCourt says Zondo Inquiry to blame for Zuma situation

This followed a December application to the court by the inquiry after Zuma disobeyed summonses to appear before it.

The ConCourt said Zuma was firmly placed at the centre of the state capture investigations which included that he had surrendered constitutional powers to unelected individuals.

The court was referring to more than 30 testimonies shared at the commission pointing to how processes in the public service were flouted to unfairly benefit certain individuals and businesses, allegedly on his instruction.

Zuma’s conduct by refusing to appear at the commission was in conflict with the Constitution, the judges said.

Justice Chris Jafta, who delivered the unanimous ruling, said: “The former president is firmly placed at the centre of investigations, which includes that he had surrendered constitutional powers to unelected private individuals. It’s in the interest of all South Africans, the former president included, that these allegations be put to rest once and for all.”

The ConCourt further stressed that Zuma’s actions are a direct breach of the rule of law adding that even those who had the privilege of making such laws must obey them.

WATCH: 'Zuma has no right to remain silent' - former president ordered to appear at state capture inquiry

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