It seems Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Chairperson of the State Capture Commission, seems to have had just about enough with former president Jacob Zuma’s attempts to dodge proceedings. Zuma was set to appear before the inquiry on Monday, 21 September 2020, but he opted to give it a snub, saying he needed to focus on his arms deal corruption case.
Zuma had been set to take to the stand and explain his roles in dodgy dealings which also involve his friends, the controversial Gupta family.
Zondo, who some have accused of being too soft on witnesses, announced that the president would then be required to make a return to the hot seat and testify between 16 and 20 November 2020.
The former president was initially set to appear back in January 2020, however he was reportedly too ill.
Zondo: No dates will be negotiated
This time, it appears the former president would have no other option but to appear as Zondo said the dates are fixed – and need to be honoured.
“I have also determined new dates for Mr Zuma’s appearance before the commission, since becoming aware of the letter from his attorneys. Those dates are 16 to 20 November 2020. Those are the dates that I have determined” said Zondo.
He also noted that Zuma’s lawyers had spoken about negotiating the dates for him to appear.
“No dates will be negotiated with them (Zuma’s legal team) or with him,” he said.
“This inquiry does not negotiate dates with witnesses. The inquiry fixes the dates and people are supposed to appear and if they’ve got good grounds for not appearing, then they make an application”
The deputy chief justice further said 9 October 2020 has been set to make a decision on a subpoena.
“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.
“He and his lawyers have been informed that unless there are good grounds for them not to appear…if they do not appear, that application will proceed without them”
He further said Zuma’s lawyers had been told that the option for him to appear virtually, was also on the table, but that arrangements had to be made accordingly.
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