The South African

‘His attacks were absolutely unjustified’

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The Jacob Zuma Foundation, in a statement released on Wednesday 23 September, said it has noted with dismay the utterances of the Chairperson of the State Capture Commission Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at a media conference. According to the foundation, the conference was designed to humiliate Zuma and his attorneys. 

“His attacks on president Zuma and his legal representatives were absolutely unjustified and prejudicial. The chairperson lacks this courage when faced with the open defiance by certain people, who refused to appear before the commission,” it said. 

ZONDO’S MEDIA CONFERENCE WAS ILL-ADVISED’ – ZUMA FOUNDATION 

The foundation expressed its disappointment at the Chairperson’s “obsession” with Zuma. 

The foundation said Zondo’s media conference was ill-advised and utterly inappropriate for a person of his seniority in the judiciary. The foundation said it comes after “unprecedented and prejudicial” statements he made in his exchange with Mr Vincent Smith wherein he made unwarranted conclusions about Zuma in his absence, insinuating that he was guilty or part of State Capture. 

The foundation said that during Zondo’s media conference, he omitted to mention that the very instructions regarding the date of 9 October 2020 and 16 – 20 November were only communicated to Zuma’s attorneys on Friday 18 September 2020. 

“Unprovoked, the chairperson calls the press conference, insinuating that Zuma or his lawyers have defied him when they have not even responded to the letter of 18 September 2020. It is regrettable, though not surprising, that he decides that the way to deal with the matter is through the media,” it said. 

The foundation said Zondo could have waited for Zuma’s legal representatives to respond to his instructions that only came on Friday before his “hastened” media briefing on Monday. 

“It appears that the chairperson is determined to prejudice him, to humiliate him. It is clear for all to see that the chairperson has made up his mind that he will treat Zuma harshly in order to secure for himself a future career in the highest office in the judiciary,” it added. 

As previously reported by The South African, Zondo said no dates would 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 are supposed to appear and if they’ve got good grounds for not appearing, then they make an application.”

The full story can be found here.

ZONDO ACCUSED OF OMITTING FACTS IN HIS ADDRESS 

The foundation said it is equally regrettable that Zondo elected to omit certain facts in his address. He omits to mention that in his previous ruling, it is he who told the public that he would meet Zuma’s doctor. 

“This, because he did not believe that Zuma was indeed ill at the time. He has done no such thing. He also elects to omit that the application for a subpoena relates to Zuma’s previous dates which coincided with his treatment overseas,” it said. 

“The so-called application relating to the subpoena seems redundant and moot as it relates to dates that have passed. It is clear to us that the legal team of the commission, in their curious wisdom, believes it can turn an old application, with old facts into a new application for a future subpoena,” it added. 

“We note that the chairperson was selective in the reason stated in the letter from President Zuma’s attorneys for his non-appearance on 21 – 25 September 2020. He only mentions those he finds convenient to the message he seeks to communicate, namely, that Zuma is not cooperating,” it added.  

The foundation has called on the chairperson to be consistent in dealing with witnesses, to be fair to Zuma, even if he has already found him guilty. 

“By calling the media conference, the chairperson has jeopardised a great opportunity for cooperation,” it added. 



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