- The Zondo commission of inquiry has warned Zuma to show up for next week’s hearing â€“ or face the consequences.
- The Constitutional Court has reserved judgment on the commission’s urgent bid to compel Zuma to appear and answer questions.
- The inquiry has told Zuma he must still honour the subpoena issued for him to appear from 18 to 22 January, even if the ConCourt has not ruled.
The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture has warned former president Jacob Zuma that he must appear before it next week, regardless of whether the Constitutional Court has ruled on its urgent bid to compel him to answer questions about his nine years in office.
“The commission wishes to make it clear to you that, even if the court has not handed down its judgment by 18 January 2021, you are obliged to comply with the summons and appear before it because the summons remains valid and binding on you since it has not been withdrawn, set aside or suspended,” the commission’s secretary, Itumeleng Mosala, wrote to Zuma on Monday.
“Therefore, the commission wishes to make it clear to you that any failure on your part, without sufficient cause, to appear before it [from] 18 to 22 January 2021 will constitute a criminal offence.”
Zuma’s lawyers have yet to comment on the commission’s letter.
It is also unclear, given that the Constitutional Court was asked to rule on the former president’s right to silence, if and how the hearing can proceed without it having delivered its judgment.
The commission of inquiry has also asked the country’s highest court to rule that Zuma had a constitutional obligation to account for his nine-year leadership of South Africa. It wants it to find that Zuma’s walkout at the commission on 19 November 2020, after Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo denied his application for his recusal, was unlawful.
While the commission of inquiry had asked the Constitutional Court to deliver its decision by 10 January, it has since indicated that it could still secure two weeks of Zuma’s evidence if that ruling was delivered by the end of January.
This is a developing story.