Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is capable of handling any issue that arise from the state capture inquiry, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said after former president Jacob Zuma defied a summons in leaving the commission on Thursday.
Zuma’s application for Zondo’s recusal was dismissed on Thursday morning.
After the ruling, advocate Paul Pretorius, head of the commission’s legal team, said Zuma now has to answer questions.
But advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, who represents the corruption-accused former president, said they would “excuse” themselves from the proceedings.
Zuma, who was summoned after playing cat-and-mouse with the inquiry, then left without Zondo’s permission.
“It is a pity that he has elected to leave without asking for permission,” Zondo said before adjourning the commission.
“The commission will reflect on the matters it needs to reflect on, but it is going to continue with its work,” Zondo said.
Later on Thursday, Lamola briefed the media regarding Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting, where he was asked for comment about Zuma’s departure.
He said the government expects the commission to do its job. It is in the interest of all South Africans that it finalises its report on state capture.
The government believes Zondo is capable of handling any issue arising from the commission, he said.
“We leave all legalities in the capable hands of Judge Raymond Zondo,” he said.