'Blunders': ConCourt says Zondo Inquiry to blame for Zuma situation

While delivering the unanimous judgment which ordered Jacob Zuma to answer questions at the inquiry, Justice Chris Jafta also criticised the conduct of the commission.

FILE: Former South African President Jacob Zuma appears at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on 23 June 2020. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court on Thursday said the state capture commission was to blame for the contentious situation it found itself in with former President Jacob Zuma.

While delivering the unanimous judgment which ordered Zuma to answer questions at the inquiry, Justice Chris Jafta also criticised the conduct of the commission.

The commission may have succeeded in its urgent application to the Constitutional Court; however, the judgment was also scathing of what it called “the commission’s blunders”.

These began with how Zuma made his way to the hot seat at the inquiry right at the beginning of his involvement.

Despite over 2,000 witnesses being summonsed to appear before it, Zuma was afforded different treatment by the commission, with officials “inviting” him instead.

The ConCourt judges were not pleased as Justice Jafta explained: “No reason was furnished for this favourable treatment to the former president. The commission was alive to the fact that the Constitution requires the equal treatment of witnesses under the law. Had the commission invoked its powers of compulsion quite early, the circumstances of urgency would not have arisen here.”

Zuma will likely appear before the commission next month as per the original summons.

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

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