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State Capture Commission announces dates for Zuma to appear

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The Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on Friday issued a statement confirming Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s call for former president Jacob Zuma to appear.

The commission has reserved 18-22 January, and 15-19 February 2021, for Zuma’s appearance.

Two summonses were served on Zuma last week and this week for him to appear before the commission on the dates specified, and on Thursday, the commission lodged an urgent application in the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) to declare that Zuma’s walkout in November without Zondo’s permission was unlawful, and that him failing to appear before the commission the following day was also unlawful, and that he must answer all questions posed to him.

The walkout on 19 November came after evidence leader Paul Pretorius warned Zuma’s legal team that he may not leave the commission without Zondo’s permission, or risk facing criminal contempt.

Legal expert Ulrich Roux said in terms of the Commissions Act, Zuma could have faced an arrest warrant or a fine for his walkout.

Roux said Zuma’s long-winded application to have Zondo recuse himself was nothing more than a delay tactic to avoid testifying before the commission.

His application was quickly dismissed, while Zuma remained adamant that he and Zondo shared a close relationship. This was denied by Zondo.

Zuma “may not rely on the right to remain silence” either, the commission said in its ConCourt application.

The commission also wished to ensure that Zuma did not leave proceedings without Zondo’s permission.

In the ConCourt application, the commission said Zuma must give evidence and answer to allegations levelled against him for his term as president, when allegedly deviated from his constitutional obligations and oath of office.

Zuma is also being ordered to indicated if he intends to oppose the commission’s urgent request, but must do so within five days.

It is not yet known if Zuma’s lawyers plan to oppose the ConCourt application.

Source: The Citizen

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