The former South African president from 2009 to 2018, Jacob Zuma, was expected this Monday, January 18, 2021 before the commission in charge of investigating the so-called case of state capture, a corruption case that forced him to resign in 2018. But, the latter finally did not appear because his lawyers challenge the legitimacy of the said commission headed by Raymond Zondo whose replacement they demand. In addition, for them, the commission’s work was to end in March 2020.
The former head of state only responded once to the Anti-Corruption Committee and that was in July 2019. He did not finish the hearing because he felt that he was being treated as an accused and not as a witness.This time he decided to defy the commission by refusing to run again. His lawyers considered Raymond Zongo to be an impartial judge and demanded his replacement as head of the commission. It is now up to the Constitutional Court to decide in this battle between former President Jacob Zuma and the anti-corruption commission.
According to Cathleen Powell, Associate Professor of Public Law at the University of Cape Town, the former tenant of the palace is required to answer to the commission under the law, failing which he could be sentenced and even imprisoned. She harshly rebuffed Jacob Zuma, saying that “former President Zuma claims that he is not subject to the authority of the commission, which is a lie. He claims he doesn’t have to answer the questions. From what we have heard so far, he believes that he is not involved in corruption is a lie, and if he is able to sell all these things long enough, it is that he is able to lead this kind of anarchy that we have seen in the United States-United, and I think it’s time for the Zondo Commission and the country to get to the bottom of this.”
The successor to Jacob Zuma, the current president Cyril Ramaphosa promised to put an end to the corruption and instructed the committee to proceed with any necessary hearings in order to punish the culprits. Jacob Zuma, 78 years old, is suspected of having generalized the plundering of state resources, in particular by promoting the affairs of a sultry trio of businessmen close to him, the Gupta brothers.
However, due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the Anti-Corruption Commission of Inquiry must request an extension as some hearings could not be conducted. The findings of this investigation will not lead directly to charges but may be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office for possible prosecution.