The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) on Wednesday called on the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture to institute proceedings for contempt against Jacob Zuma should he fail again to appear before the inquiry in two weeks’ time, in accordance with a Constitutional Court (ConCourt) order.
Casac has welcomed the decision by the commission’s chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to lay a criminal complaint against the former president after he failed to pitch up at the inquiry in January to answer questions on his implication in allegations of state capture.
The commission also said it would consider further action should Zuma fail to obey the summons issued for his next appearance this month.
The commission had served Zuma with summons to appear before it during the week of 18 January 2021 to 22 January 2021. His next appearance is scheduled from 15 February 2021 to 19 February 2021.
However, Zuma on Monday vowed not to cooperate with the commission despite the ruling by the ConCourt last week compelling him to do so. He said he did not fear being arrested and convicted for defying the highest court in the land.
Lawson Naidoo, Casac’s executive director, said Zuma’s refusal to appear the commission demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the summonses issued by the inquiry, as well as the ConCourt’s order directing him to appear before the commission and answer questions put to him.
“It cannot be that a former head of state treats the courts, laws, and summons with such disdain in a desperate attempt to evade accountability,” Naidoo said in a statement.
“We believe that each breach of the law by Mr Zuma must result in further charges. Should Mr Zuma fail to appear before the commission on 15 February, we further urge the commission to institute proceedings for contempt of the clear order of the Constitutional Court,” he added.
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