Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is not impressed with former president Jacob Zuma for snubbing the commission this week.
The judge is not keen to take any more excuses for non-attendance and has scheduled Zuma’s next appearance for the month of November, and that is non-negotiable. Zuma was due to appear before the commission from 21 to 25 September.
Zuma’s legal team informed the commission that the former president would be unable to testify this week as he was preparing for his criminal trial.
In a letter to the commission, Eric Mabuza, Zuma’s attorney, expressed that it would be unfair for his client to be expected to consider and respond to more than 30 witness statements as part of his preparations for testifying at the commission.
Zuma’s age is another reason given for his failure to attend the proceedings this week.
Summarising the letter sent by Zuma’s legal team, Zondo said: “His doctors have advised him to limit his movements because of his age and Covid-19.”
But Zondo seems to have run out of patience and is not accepting any excuses.
The commission’s legal team has applied to an order authorising the issuing of a summons against Zuma. The hearing for that application will be on the 9th of October.
“They have been informed that should they wish to make use of a virtual appearance before the commission and if they inform the commission timeously, arrangements will be made for them to appear virtually before the commission but that application will proceed with or without them,” insisted Zondo.
“I have also determined new dates for Mr Zuma’s appearance before the commission since becoming aware of the letter from his attorneys. Those dates are 16 to 20 November 2020.”
Zondo went on to say: “His attorneys said dates should be negotiated with him or with them. No dates will be negotiated with them or with him.”
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