Zondo: No reason for Zuma not to appear if recusal review bid not filed yet

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is yet to make his decision on the way forward but he said that Zuma’s statement that he would defy the Constitutional Court and the commission were clear what his real reasons were.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission said that former President Jacob Zuma shouldn’t fear incriminating himself if there was nothing to incriminate him.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius were exchanging their views in the absence of Zuma’s legal team after they sent a letter on Monday morning saying that he would not appear.

Zuma said that the summons calling him was irregular because he was waiting for a court decision to review Zondo’s refusal to recuse himself.

But Zondo said that he was aware that Zuma intended to lodge a review application for his recusal but the commission made it clear that that was no reason for him not to appear, especially when he had not filed it yet.

Zondo said that Zuma chose not to file his challenge on these grounds to oppose the Constitutional Court application compelling him to appear at the inquiry.

"He and his lawyer sent a letter to say that he would not participate in those proceeding at all. The question, can he complain about the order made by the Constitutional Court in circumstances where he was given a full opportunity to oppose that application and place before the court his case and elected not to do so."

Zondo is yet to make his decision on the way forward but he said that Zuma’s statement that he would defy the Constitutional Court and the commission were clear what his real reasons were.

REPURPOSING STATE SECURITY AGENCY

The state capture commission also wants to ask Zuma about his decision to repurpose the State Security Agency that resulted in intelligence being factionalised along divisions in the African National Congress (ANC) and serving personal interests of individuals.

Advocate Pretorius is detailing questions that the commission wants Zuma to answer, even though his lawyers wrote to Zondo earlier today to say he was not appearing.

Pretorius said that this was not an attack but a call for Zuma to account for what he knew or did not know about the evidence of alleged corruption during his tenure.

One of the allegations is that he wanted to centralise budget.

"But there has been evidence that Mr Zuma initiated a process to remove the national budget process from Treasury and to place it in the hands of the Fed and the reasons for this requires some investigation."

WATCH: Zondo Commission gives update on Zuma appearance

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