Nica Richards

By Nica Richards


ConCourt rules that Zuma does not have the right to remain silent at Zondo inquiry

The judgment comes after a series of defaulted appearances before the State Capture Commission by Zuma. 

On Thursday, the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) handed down judgment on whether former president Jacob Zuma would be legally obliged to give evidence before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture. 

The court ruled that Zuma has to obey all summonses and directives issued by the commission. He must appear before the commission on the dates determined.

He does not have the right to remain silent before the commission, but he retains the right not to incriminate himself. 

All costs of the proceedings must be paid by Zuma.

The judgment comes after a series of defaulted appearances by Zuma

A summons was issued directing Zuma to appear before the commission from 18 January 2021 to 22 January 2021 and from 15 February 2021 to 19 February 2021.

In November last year, Zuma’s representative Muzi Sikhakhane launched a review of the commission’s chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to have him recuse himself, and lodged a complaint about him with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC). 

The court heard in December that Zondo had “bent over backwards” to accommodate Zuma for him to testify at the commission, and that Zuma’s response had been defiant. 

ALSO READ: ConCourt set to rule on Zondo commission vs Jacob Zuma

After Zondo dismissed Zuma’s application to recuse himself, Sikhakhane said they would excuse themselves from the proceedings to consider the deputy chief justice’s judgment.

But Zuma excused himself from the commission’s proceedings without permission from Zondo, possible contravening the Commissions Act

Days later, a criminal charge against Zuma was announced by Zondo. 

Last year, the commission’s secretary Itumeleng Mosala filed an urgent application with the ConCourt to compel Zuma to comply with a summons against him that he testify before the commission this year. 

Additional reporting by Vhahangwele Nemakonde.

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