South Africa


Zuma to start a five-pronged Stalingrad attack against Zondo and the Commission

Zuma to start a five-pronged Stalingrad attack against Zondo and the Commission
Mzwanele Manyi, Advocate Dali Mpofu and Duduzile Zuma at a media briefing called by former president Jacob Zuma to respond to the State Capture report in Rivonia on 25 June 2022. The former president did not attend the briefing after being advised by his legal team. (Photo: Felix Dlangamandla)

Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to a launch a full-scale offensive against Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, whom he claims holds a ‘hatred’ and ‘deep-seated resentment’ towards him, just days after Zondo handed President Cyril Ramaphosa the final part of the State Capture report.

According to Zuma’s eponymous foundation, the former president will be taking on review aspects of the full report in which he is directly implicated in wrongdoing.

In the final instalment of the report, made public on Wednesday, Zondo again makes wide-ranging findings of corruption and self-enrichment against Zuma and his family, their links to the Gupta family and the way the ANC-led government came close to bringing South Africa to its knees.

The spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation, Mzwanele Manyi, unleashed a torrent of grievances against the sitting Chief Justice at a press briefing in Sandton on Saturday afternoon, while outlining the former president’s qualms.

Zuma was not at the briefing, although according to a statement released by his foundation on Friday he was supposed to “in personal attendance”. The former president’s advocate in his Arms Deal graft case, Dali Mpofu, said that he had advised against attendance, given Zuma’s parole conditions. Zuma was, however, in Sandton, he said, for a meeting with his legal team.

Manyi again accused Zondo, the judiciary, the media and a “conflicted” Ramaphosa of being party to injustices against Zuma.

He said Zuma would be taking on review aspects of the report in which he was directly implicated.

Zondo chaired the commission, which ran for over four years and is estimated to have cost taxpayers R1-billion. It has since summarised its findings into six parts, released in tranches.

Manyi, reading from a prepared statement, accused the “toothless” inquiry of “investigating a phantom thing called State Capture”.

He said that Zuma’s legal team would, within the next two weeks, approach the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to institute wide-ranging grievances against Zondo while simultaneously asking the courts to adjudicate on the matters.

“President Zuma would request both the courts and the JSC to separately give a serious look into five acts of illegality, breaches of the Constitution and, where applicable, the judicial code of conduct,” said Manyi.

The five areas are:

  1. Uncovering the “exact nature of the historical relationship” between Zuma and Zondo;
  2. The refusal of Zondo to recuse himself as chairman of the commission when he was “reasonably requested to do so”;
  3. The political and factional remarks made by Zondo about the outcomes of the 2017 ANC national conference;
  4. “Gratuitous insults and politically poisoned references” to Zuma in respect of the proposed changes to the electoral system as outlined in the State Capture report;
  5. Abuse of power by Zondo in his “irrational and insensitive remarks” that the decision to release Zuma on medical parole was “questionable”. Zuma believes this remark was intended to influence the outcome of a pending court decision.

Zuma’s brief incarceration is a sore point. He was found to be in contempt of court by the Constitutional Court for failing to adhere to a subpoena requiring his attendance at the commission, and was subsequently sentenced to 15 months in prison. He was finally whisked to jail by his personal security on 7 July 2021, his incarceration starting the horrific riots that saw KwaZulu-Natal, and to a lesser extent Gauteng, engulfed in unprecedented violence and looting for eight days.

Less than four months later, then correctional services boss Arthur Fraser granted Zuma medical parole, which was quickly challenged in court. In December 2021, the Gauteng High Court overturned Fraser’s decision, deeming it unlawful. Zuma has appealed that ruling, and the matter is expected to sit before the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in August.

Zondo said in his report this week that Fraser had released Zuma “under questionable circumstances and against the recommendations of the Parole Board”. The Chief Justice determined this was a quid pro quo, wherein Fraser approved the medical parole because Zuma had previously protected him from possible prosecution.

According to Manyi, this comment was particularly troublesome as the medical parole matter was still to be decided and could end up at the Constitutional Court.

“As the foundation, we are convinced that the Chief Justice was giving a coded message to the SCA to rule in a manner that will confirm what he has declared as ‘questionable circumstances’. We hope that the SCA will not allow itself to be bullied into unlawful and unconstitutional conduct,” said Manyi.

He said that Fraser had acted within his powers to release Zuma.

“The Jacob Zuma Foundation has also instructed lawyers to look into the possibility of challenging the unlawful appointment of Justice Zondo as the Chief Justice in spite of his dismal performance at the JSC interview. Zuma has also asked his legal team to accelerate the review of Zondo refusing to recuse himself [as chairperson of the commission when Zuma was expected to give evidence],” said Manyi.

The foundation was convinced that all six parts of the State Capture report were unlawful, said Manyi, as Zuma was not allowed in 2017 – then still the president – to decide who would chair the commission.

“We hold the view that given the unlawfulness [of the commission], it can’t be that its findings are lawful. This report’s findings are a classic case of the fruits from a poisoned tree,” said Manyi.

The commission was appointed after former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela made a recommendation that it be created in her October 2016 report titled “State of Capture”.

A key point of controversy in her recommendations was that Zuma, then the sitting president and allowed to appoint a chair to any commission, should not be allowed to do so in this instance because he was so compromised. Instead, then Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was instructed to present a recommendation to Zuma. Mogoeng recommended Zondo, and Zuma acceded.

Manyi said Zuma had always been supportive of the commission, but given that his constitutional right to appoint the judge who would lead it was usurped, his role had been reduced to a “clerical” one, as he had been “spoon-fed” a candidate.

“This unlawful report of the unlawful commission is predictably full of gossip, innuendo and conjecture. It is very short of concrete evidence. Their report is characterised by bias in favour of the [ANC] faction supportive of President Ramaphosa,” said Manyi. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • jcdville stormers says:

    Zuma is actually a whimp.He can’t face the music, neither his cohorts.The world according to Garp, the lot of them,you get statesman leaders and then you get Tata ma chance criminals,scora scora s with no morals of backbone

  • Richard Fitzpatrick says:

    Hold the front page : Zuma appeals!

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    Manyi is South Africa’s Rudy Giuliani. Or is it Comical Ali. The media is so weak, firstly for even turning up to hear the opinions of the so-called Zuma Foundation and watch his 10 time loser advocate and smirking daughter, and secondly for not attacking their whole narrative and confronting their absurd untruths, instead of posing feeble questions.

    • Marilyn Small says:

      This sounds like a solid and reasonable opinion to me. The less said about some nasty individuals and their malicious attempts to obfuscate the truth, the better!

  • Andrew Morgan says:

    Oh dear, the evil drivel from this evil man continues. No country deserves this, least of all South Africa. I am at a loss and will resort to a Welsh poem to express my deep disgust about Jacob Zuma.


    I don’t ask for a luxurious life
    The worlds gold or its fine pearls
    I ask for a happy heart
    An honest heart, a pure heart

    (Chorus)A pure heart full of goodness
    Is fairer than the pretty lily
    None but a pure heart can sing
    Sing in the day and sing in the night

    If I wished for worldly wealth
    It would swiftly go to seed
    The riches of a virtuous pure heart
    Will bear eternal fruit


    Evening and morning, my wishes
    rising to heaven on the wing of song
    For God, for the sake of my saviour,
    To give me a pure heart


    And so the man of IMPURE HEART wants to abuse the legal system again to try and persuade people that IF THERE IS SOME LEGAL TECHNICALITY to play with this must mean that he is legally innocent. As always he starts from a false legal presumption. In any event, NOTHING can hide his IMPURE HEART.

    He cannot suffer enough for the disgrace, dishonor and poverty he has brought upon South Africans. I can only hope and pray that good will prevail.

  • Joe Soap says:

    Sitting in the dark, without water having to read this drivel. There is not a single valid legal argument in any of the 5 prongs of attack. Once the courts have told this man this we will still have to hear how everyone is being ‘ugly’ to him.

  • Miles Japhet says:

    Manyi, Mpofu and Zuma – your game is so transparent – have you no shame.
    Look at the millions of poor people whose hope has been destroyed whilst you play your games with their future!

  • Lorinda Winter says:

    No surprise here. We knew this was going to happen, so here we go again. Where does Zuma get the money from? Why doesn’t SARS investigate?

  • Anne Felgate says:

    Even if zuma never goes to jail or ever has to account for anything, he is not having a peaceful retirement.
    No rest for the wicked …..

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    I trust that all Zuma’s requests will be turned down. Enough is enough!

  • Bryan Shepstone says:

    Don’t worry about Zondo Mr Zuma, the people have judged you and found you wanting.
    The sooner the devil recalls this old evil cadre the better.

  • Paddy Ross says:

    It is Mpofu and not Zondo that the JSC should be investigating. Mpofu is abusing the judicial system.

    • Kanu Sukha says:

      Right on ! Why this scoundrel is allowed to practice “law” is beyond comprehension … but then in SA anything is possible. At least in the US Guilianni’s license was suspended … far too late ! Maybe that is what will happen in dilly Dali case also , for bringing the law into disrepute. BUT … in the meantime he will continue to line his pocket as he did with the SABC cash cow many years ago, before state capture became the frakenstein it was to become ! The observation about the media lining up to listen to the puerile garbage spouted by the likes of Manyi is only amplified by the pathetic level of questioning by most of the so-called ‘journalists’ present. Or maybe they trained at the Surve school of media !

  • Geoff Krige says:

    Has Zuma forgotten who appointed Zondo in the first place?
    Does Zuma’s team even realise that the law in every country in the world is opposed to illegal acts, and is set up exactly with the purpose of opposing criminal syndicates and criminal actions?
    Trouble is that big boss Zuma, like big boss Trump, like big boss Putin and others, believe that they are free to act outside of the constraints of the law. Somehow their legal teams seem to believe the same thing.

  • Peter Tuffin says:

    Is there no way that someone like OUTA, or the Helen Suzman Foundation, or even the ANC can take Zuma to court to prevent him wasting money on more court action?

  • Johan Buys says:

    What is the current status of the media empire Manyi bought from the Guptas for R450,000,000???????

    He paid the R450m?
    The reporters are paid?
    The business is in business rescue?

    Just asking for a friend

  • Gerrit Marais says:

    Dear God, you know what needs to be done. Damocles?

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    This is nothing new – it is typical of how radical nationalists react when they lose, the world over. Just one more example of this was Donald Trump and all the actions he launched to overturn the election as soon as it became clear that he would lose. I don’t even have to mention Mugabe’s actions to keep himself in power. Besides, I am not a lawyer, but as far as I understand, reviews are for court decisions. The Zondo commission was not a court, but a commission. It did not make a verdict but a report. It is only when Zuma and others are charged and appear in court and a verdict is come to, that reviews come into play. Manyi & Mpofu can be excused because they are acting on Zuma’s behalf, but Zuma has no excuse. This just shows his disdain for SA Constitutional dispensation and it also shows how much grace SA was shown in 2017 when Ramaphosa won that election. May it stay that way this year!

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Sydney Kaye, I tend to agree with you. On the other hand it definitely is news and DM is a news site; I don’t think that we want the news agencies to decide what we need to hear, they must just report what happens, no matter how frustrating it is. Furthermore, the only thing this will do is further making Zuma and the whole RET faction even more unpopular than they are already.

  • Amanda Landman says:

    Well, he is MOST certainly not the only one….

  • Kanu Sukha says:

    There is a saying ” A picture is worth a thousand words !”. The only one smiling in this case, is the one scoundrel still pocketing the money, by pretending to be an advocate ! For what …. is the question we need answers for, sooner rather than later.

  • Paul Savage says:

    It is the ANC who should be in the dock. Zuma is just a pathetic sideshow. But it is the ANC, the entire organisation of criminals, who really should be charged with looting the country, and letting down all of us who had so much faith in them in 1994. How hard is it, to just do the right thing without stealing all the money. Bunch of thieves.

  • Pet Bug says:

    I can hear the groans –
    the upside to Zuma’s strategy is that each and every one of his legal losses, strengthens our legal system. The rulings become case law and hence accepted law. (I think, no lawyer).

    Zuma might well die before he runs out of willing lawyers and law minutiae. And we might never get our Schadenfreude moment that we so need as a nation to believe there is justice.
    He after all almost destroyed this country and it will take years, decades to repair and work through.

    But, I don’t think that Zuma’s law fare strategy will ever be repeated. The next chancer will not have the same latitude to ride our system. Zuma’s precedent cases should nix these early on.

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