Jacob Zuma boldly told the Zondo Commission – and the world – in a statement released on Monday by the Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Foundation, that he would not appear before the commission.
Zuma’s decision went against the Constitutional Court order last week that he must appear before the commission, give evidence and obey all the directives given by the inquiry.
Justice Chris Jafta said: “It is declared that Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma does not have the right to remain silent in proceedings before the Commission.”
On Monday 1 February, Zuma seemed to taunt the commission, with his statement that he would not cooperate and that:
“If this stance is considered a violation of their law, then let their law take its course.”
The commission is not taking this lightly and has released its own statement.
“The Commission takes note of the recent public statement issued by Mr Jacob Zuma yesterday (Monday, 1 February 2021).”
The statement describes the stance taken by Zuma and goes on to say:
“It seems that Mr Zuma considers himself to be above the law and the Constitution.
“With regard to Mr Zuma’s decision not to appear before the Commission during the week of the 18th to the 22nd of January 2021 as he had been required to do in terms of one of the Commission’s summonses served on him, the Chairperson has asked the Secretary of the Commission to lay a criminal complaint against Mr Zuma.”
Zuma is also expected to appear before the commission from February 15 to 19, which he announced he would not do. The commission has noted this and said should Zuma not appear on 15 February, it would “announce on that day what further action it will take in regard to such conduct”.
The commission closed its statement with:
“It is noted that in his statement Mr Zuma continues his attacks on the person and integrity of the chairperson but the chairperson will deal with those attacks in a separate statement.” DM