You must appear or face criminal charges: state capture inquiry to Jacob Zuma

Former president Jacob Zuma is expected to appear before the state capture inquiry next week. File photo.

The state capture inquiry’s secretary Prof Itumeleng Mosala has moved to remind former president Jacob Zuma to appear at the oral hearings next week.

In a letter sent to Zuma on Monday, Mosala emphasised that should Zuma fail to appear “without sufficient cause”, his conduct would be tantamount to committing a criminal offence.

According to the inquiry, Zuma is obligated to show up at the hearings next week since summons were issued against him.

This is even if the Constitutional Court has not issued its judgment on the inquiry’s application for the summons against Zuma to be enforced.

“As you know, on December 29 2020 the ConCourt reserved its judgment in the application I brought in that court for an order that you comply with the summonses requiring you to appear before the commission on January 18-22 2021 and on 1 February 15-19 2021,” wrote Mosala.

“It is possible the ConCourt might not have handed down its judgment by  January 18.

“The commission wishes to make it clear to you that, even if the court has not handed down its judgment, you are obliged to comply with the summons and appear before it because the summons remain valid and binding on you since it had not been withdrawn, set aside or suspended.

“Therefore, the commission wishes to make it clear to you that failure on your part, without sufficient cause, to appear before it on January 18-22 2021 will constitute a criminal offence.”

Zuma has previously defied the inquiry’s summons when he walked out from the hearing late last year.

This came after his application for the recusal of the inquiry chairperson, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, was dismissed.

For that, a criminal charge was opened against him.

In 2020, Zuma managed to evade accounting before the inquiry for the entire  year, and will likely attempt to do the same this year.

by Mawande AmaShabalala

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