Home SOUTH AFRICA SOUTH AFRICA: Jacob Zuma to testify before anti-corruption commission

SOUTH AFRICA: Jacob Zuma to testify before anti-corruption commission

Jacob Zuma @Thulani Mbele / Gallo Image / Sowetan

On Thursday, 28 January, the South African Constitutional Court ordered former President Jacob Zuma to testify before the Zondo Commission, which is investigating suspicions of corruption during its 2009-2018 Magisterium.

The former South African president, Jacob Zuma, is summoned by his country’s highest court to appear before an anti-corruption commission to testify about the embezzlements under his presidency. “Mr. Jacob Zuma is ordered to appear and testify before the Commission on the dates set by the Commission,” the South African Constitutional Court ordered in a judgment delivered on Thursday. The court stated that the former President “does not have the right to remain silent during this procedure”. She feels that it is unacceptable for the former head of state to obstruct the investigations of a commission that he himself set up.

Jacob Zuma testified only once before the commission chaired by Justice Raymond Zondo in July 2019. He then withdrew after a few days, considering that he was treated as an “accused” and not as a witness. In October 2020, the commission had taken things to the next level by summoning the former head of state to testify, warning him that an absence without cause would constitute “a criminal offence”.

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After months of dithering, Jacob Zuma finally showed up but refused to speak, while this hearing was about considering his request to recuse Judge Raymond Zondo whom he accused of being biased. It was subsequently that the commission referred the matter to the Constitutional Court for a ruling on Zuma’s obligation to testify.

Although the commission’s findings cannot lead directly to charges, they can be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for possible prosecution. She has already heard from dozens of ministers or former ministers, elected officials, businessmen or senior officials who have made serious revelations about the regime of Jacob Zuma.


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