Zuma leaves commission without Zondo's permission

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission of inquiry on Thursday
Jacob Zuma at the state capture commission of inquiry on Thursday
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Former president Jacob Zuma left the Zondo commission without the chairperson's permission during the morning tea break.

The commission adjourned for tea after Zondo had dismissed Zuma's application for the deputy chief justice's recusal, saying Zuma's application had failed to meet the test for a recusal.

When the commission resumed after an about an hour, Zondo announced that Zuma had left without his permission.

Zondo had summoned Zuma to appear before the commission between November 16 and November 20 to respond to allegations which emerged during the testimony of several witnesses.

"He [Zuma] has been issued with summons to be here unless he's excused by me... he has left without asking to be excused," Zondo said.

He said the commission would "reflect" on this development which he described as " a very serious matter".

Zondo said in terms of the commission's stance, Zuma was supposed to take the stand after the ruling on his application for Zondo's recusal and answer questions about various matters forming part of what the commission is investigating.

Zuma's lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane SC  indicated  shortly before the tea break that they would excuse themselves as Zuma wanted to lodge a complaint with the Judicial Services Commission against Zondo on him being "a judge and a witness" in the recusal application by the former president.

Deputy Chief Justice delivered judgement on an application for his recusal from the State Capture Commission, brought forward by former president Jacob Zuma on November 19 2020. But things took a turn after the former president left the commission during an adjournment.

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