Zuma Foundation labels Zondo commission ‘a political process’ meant ‘to achieve political ends’

Former president Jacob Zuma. Picture: AFP

Foundation says commission’s latest application confirms its fear that Zondo seeks to prejudice Zuma in every aspect.

The Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Mhlanganyelwa Zuma Foundation has labelled the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo “a political process parading as a legal process”, saying it is a “bastardisation” of the latter “to achieve political ends for those who pull the strings from behind”.

On Thursday, the foundation issued a statement noting “with concern” an application by the commission served on Zuma’s legal representative on Monday.

“This is done at this late stage and a few days before an already set date for this pre-determined application,” a statement issued by the foundation reads.

On Friday, Zondo is expected to hear an application by the commission’s legal team for the authorisation for a subpoena against Zuma for the former president to appear before the commission from 16 to 20 November.

The foundation said the dates the commission was seeking for in the application served on Zuma on Monday “are the same” as the ones Zondo has publicly announced.

“Attached to the amended application is what is referred to as an amended notice of application supported by a supplementary affidavit deposed to by one Itumeleng Mosala.

“In the amended notice of application, the secretariat of the commission seeks an order from the chairperson that the acting secretariat be authorised to sign and issue summons to compel our client to appear before the commission to answer questions on 16 to 20 November 2020, the very dates already publicly announced by the chairperson.

“We stated in our previous statement that the original application related to the time when former president Zuma was abroad to seek medical attention,” the foundation said.

Zuma’s foundation said it was unfortunate that Zondo “refused to believe” that “Zuma was genuinely ill” and wanted to meet with the former president’s doctor, “an undertaking he has failed to meet”.

“It is unprecedented for a judge to appoint himself to go and meet doctors to prove that indeed the former president was sick, he was not telling lies,” the statement reads.

Zuma’s foundation said the former president’s legal team “might need to deal with” whether Zondo “can informally nullify his own ruling” to meet with Zuma’s doctors “and simply move on”.

“It is regrettable that the secretariat, without acknowledging its erroneous understanding in this regard, has sought to surreptitiously smuggle a new application on the back of the original one that has become moot.

“We are utterly disappointed with this backhand approach by such an important legal forum. It confirms our fear that this commission seeks to prejudice Zuma in every aspect.”

The foundation said the application served on Zuma on Monday “is nothing but a ruse, whose outcome has been clearly predetermined”, adding that it hopes that the public sees the commission “and its evidence leaders for what they are”, which it said is “a political process parading as a legal process”.

The foundation said the commission’s alleged continued biased conduct against Zuma “affirms our apprehension of bias as previously alleged”.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu)

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