'I will not negotiate dates with Jacob Zuma': judge Raymond Zondo

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo has set October 9 for the hearing of the state capture inquiry's application for the issuing of summons against former president Jacob Zuma.

This after Zuma refused to appear before the inquiry this week, stating that he was busy preparing for his criminal trial. He also said his doctors had advised him to limit his movements because his age makes him vulnerable to Covid-19.

This forced the inquiry's legal team to make the application to compel Zuma to appear.

Zondo said the application will be heard on October 9, “with or without” Zuma's legal team.

Zondo has also fixed new dates for Zuma's appearance for November 16 to 20 2020.

“I have determined new dates for Mr Zuma’s appearance at the inquiry,” said Zondo. “No dates will be negotiated with them [Zuma's legal team] or with him.

“This inquiry does not negotiate dates with witnesses. The inquiry fixes the dates and people appear.

“The application brought by the inquiry's legal team for the issuing of the summons against Mr Zuma will proceed on October 9, with or without his legal representatives.”

Zondo added that he last month issued an instruction to Zuma to depose to an affidavit stating his side of the story relating to two matters.

Zuma was instructed to respond to two affidavits, one by former Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi and another by Nicholas Linell.

The two claimed that a meeting discussing the removal of four Eskom executives in 2015 was held at Zuma’s official state house in Durban.

They claimed that also present at the meeting was then SAA chairperson Dudu Myeni, who had no business with Eskom affairs.

“It is in the public interest that the public knows what is happening, particularly about somebody who was president of the country,” said Zondo.

“Towards the end of August I issued a directive compelling Mr Zuma to depose to an affidavit or affirmed declaration to answer certain matters relating to Eskom, with special reference to affidavits by Mr Tsotsi as well as Mr Linell about a meeting which they both said was held at Mr Zuma’s official home in Durban,” said Zondo.

Zondo said Zuma was not required to depose to an affidavit in response to all allegations made against him at the commission, but some evidence implicating him was “very important for him to deal with” and could not be ignored.

Zuma, implicated in abetting the notorious Gupta family to capture the state, has in the two years of the commission hearings appeared once.

When he was due to appear for the second time early this year, he submitted a sick note claiming he was in Cuba to receive medical attention.

Zuma was also due to appear at the commission this week but claimed to be at high risk of contracting Covid-19 due to his age, adding that he was also preparing for his criminal trial.

Zondo said if need be, Zuma may have to testify virtually from his Nkandla home if travelling was not possible for him.

TimesLIVE


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