'I never met with Zuma before his walk out' - Zondo

Isaac Mahlangu Senior reporter
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo has dismissed reports that he had a meeting with the former president Jacob Zuma to discuss his further participation in the State Capture Commission before he walked out in November.

 The Sunday Independent reported at the weekend that Zuma had in November offered to give his version of events only in writing as he did not want to be humiliated by evidence leader Adv Paul Pretorius.

Citing "sources familiar with what transpired in the chambers" before Zuma staged a walked , the newspaper reported that Zuma had told Zondo that he would not appear before him unless he was allowed to make written submissions answering specific questions in line with the state capture commission of inquiry’s identified areas of interest.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, by the commission's secretary Prof Itumeleng Mosala, the commission disputed the claims of a meeting between Zondo and the former state president.

"The Commission wishes to make it clear that the Chairperson did not have any meeting with Mr Jacob Zuma whether before or after his walk-out from the Commission proceedings. Advocate Paul Pretorius SC was also never part of any meeting with Mr Zuma," stated Mosala.

 "If Mr Zuma had gone to the Chairperson’s Chambers at the venue of the hearing before he walked out, this would have been captured on camera because he would have been seen going towards the door that leads to the Chairperson’s Chambers."

"That is the door from which the Chairperson is always seen entering the venue of the hearing every day. If anybody watches the commission proceedings of the 19th of November 2020, they will not see Mr Zuma walking towards the door that leads to the Chairperson’s," Mosala said.

Zuma left the commission on Novemmber 19 during the morning tea break after Zondo had dismissed his application for his recusal.

Zondo said at the time that Zuma's walkout was a serious matter which impacts on the integrity of the commission.

The Sunday Independent had reported that the deputy chief justice had apparently been amenable to Zuma's proposal during the apparent meeting however Pretorius had allegedly refused.

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