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Zuma's lawyers say no-show at Zondo commission is not in defiance of the law

Former president Jacob Zuma.
Former president Jacob Zuma.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Lawyers representing former president Jacob Zuma have confirmed that he will not be appearing before the Zondo commission on Monday as per his earlier statement.

In a statement released by the lawyers on Monday, they said one of the reasons for Zuma not appearing before the commission was that the review application he instituted to set aside deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo’s refusal to recuse himself is yet to be heard in court.

“The summons issued for our client to appear on 15-19 February 2021 is irregular and not in line with the fourth order of the Constitutional Court judgment of 28 January 2021. Appearing before deputy chief justice Zondo in the circumstances would undermine and invalidate the review application over his decision not to recuse himself.

“We also place on record that the review application was not before the Constitutional Court and, accordingly, was not considered, determined and adjudicated by that court. We reiterate that the above should not be construed to suggest any defiance of a legal process,” said Zuma’s lawyer Eric Mabuza.

On January 28, the Constitutional Court ordered Zuma to appear from Monday to Friday before the Zondo commission. The court also instructed him to answer questions posed to him during proceedings.

Zuma then later released a statement in which he said he will not be attending the commission despite the court ruling against him.

There have been several reports of meetings that are said to have taken place between Zuma and other politicians who tried to persuade him to go to the commission.

Zuma has however remained defiant.

Last year Zuma brought the application for Zondo to recuse himself, arguing there was a personal relationship with him.

Zondo came forward and told the public that he had a child with a sister of one of Zuma’s wives more than 25 years ago. Zuma’s application was dismissed.

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