NATIONAL NEWS - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday said the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture would make an application to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) seeking an order declaring that former president Jacob Zuma is guilty of contempt of court.
This followed a letter from Zuma’s lawyers to the commission stating that their client will not be appearing before the commission as compiled by a Constitutional Court order in January.
The letter, dated 15 February 2021, said Zuma would not appear as scheduled this week due to his application at the Pretoria High Court challenging Zondo’s decision in November 2020 not to recuse himself from hearing Zuma’s testimony.
Justice Zondo said the ConCourt could either impose a term of imprisonment on Zuma or a fine, but that the commission would be seeking imprisonment.
The former president’s lawyers also argued that the commission’s summons issued for their client’s appearance was irregular and not in line with the ConCourt judgement on 28 January 2021.
Justice Zondo dismissed the reasons given by the lawyers saying the summons issued for Zuma’s appearance was valid and the ConCourt knew of his review application in the high court.
“In that application, the point is made quite clear that the commission was aware that Mr Zuma intended to launch a review application in regard to the recusal application and it was contended by the secretary of the commission that that would be no grounds for him not to appear before the commission in the meantime.
“He and his lawyers knew that this was one of the points that were being made by the commission before the Constitutional Court,” he said.