The year 2020, has not been a pleasant one for former stateman Jacob Zuma – but his battles are far from over.
On Friday, Zuma was dealt a heavy blow when the second-highest court in the land ruled against him.
The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein dismissed, with costs, an application he had lodged to challenge a Gauteng High Court ruling that he should pay a costs order awarded against him in a matter relating to his delays in implementing the “State of Capture” report of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
Zondo bias claims
Zuma also wanted Zondo to recuse himself from chairing the state capture commission of inquiry on the basis that he was biased. He claimed that he and Zondo had historical family relations.
But Zondo recently clarified the family link, saying that he fathered a child in the mid-1990s with the sister of Zuma’s now estranged wife, Thobeka Madiba. At the time, however, Zuma and Madiba were not involved in a relationship, Zondo pointed out.
Zuma has been in and out of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg for corruption charges related to the controversial arms deal.
Earlier this year, Judge Dhaya Pillay authorised a warrant for Zuma’s arrest after she didn’t accept a sick note submitted on behalf of the former president when he failed to appear in court. But the warrant was cancelled when he made an appearance in June.
Zuma faces 16 charges, including corruption, racketeering, money laundering and fraud.
He is expected to appear in the dock again on 8 December.
‘Known enemy agent’ tweet
In August, the Constitutional Court dismissed Zuma’s appeal against a ruling that he defamed ANC veteran Derek Hanekom, who he accused of being a “known enemy agent”.
On 25 July 2019, Zuma tweeted: “I’m not surprised by @Julius_S_Malema revelations regarding @Derek_Hanekom. It is part of the plan I mentioned at the Zondo Commission. @Derek_Hanekom is a known enemy agent.”
Zuma was seemingly reacting to EFF leader Julius Malema’s claims that Hanekom conspired with the party to oust the former statesman via a motion of no confidence in the National Assembly.
Hanekom took his ANC comrade to court for defamation.
In September, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court ruled in Hanekom’s favour, ordering Zuma to “remove the tweet within 24 hours” and apologise to Hanekom.
The former president was also barred from saying or suggesting that Hanekom was an “enemy agent” or apartheid spy.
But Zuma did not take the judgment lying down and took the matter further.
He was ordered to apologise to Hanekom, which he did, and he later deleted the tweet.