Leave my children alone – Jacob Zuma tells Zondo commission

Former President Jacob Zuma at the State Capture Commission in Parktown, 16 July 2019. Picture Neil McCartney

‘My opponents have now decided to target my children and this is where I draw the line and state that this harassment of my children is a declaration of war.’

Former president Jacob Zuma has penned yet another scathing letter to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, the media, law enforcement agencies and banks to leave his children out of any investigation on him.

“I am pleading with our law enforcement agencies, our media, the banks and more particularly the investigators of the commission, to leave my children out of their brief to scapegoat and punish me in order to conceal the crimes of the powerful. My children were not in government and should not be dragged into battles designed to destroy me,” said the former president.

Zuma’s statement follows a Sunday Times article which alleged “the Zondo commission on state capture is set to rip the veil of secrecy off thousands of potentially dodgy financial transactions linked to former president Jacob Zuma, his family and his secretive education trust.”

The publication claimed to have seen subpoenas relating to at least 20 accounts linked to Zuma’s family, “including a TV production company that produces an SABC1 soapie, Uzalo”.

But the former president claimed in his statement that his children had not been notified by the commission.

“If they have become subjects of any investigation by the commission, they should be notified just like any other implicated person so that they can exercise their rights like any other implicated person. So far, they have not been served with any notices indicating that they are in any way implicated by any witness selected by the commission,” he said.

Also read: Zuma Foundation accuses Zondo of trying to humiliate JZ

Zuma has pleaded with the commission to leave his children alone, and said he was the one central to its investigation, not his family.

“I have indeed accepted that the commission is desperate to deliver me for what is alleged to be my role in what is called state capture as it cannot complete this commission without lynching the original target of those who conceptualised the commission as a part of the campaigns to discredit me,” he said.

“However, I condemn as utter cowardice the attempts to target my children by way of clandestine investigations into matters that have nothing to do with them. My children live their lives separately and must be treated like any child or person that has not been implicated in any wrongdoing.”

He said the alleged harassment of his children was “the height of barbarism” and further vowed to fight it.

“My opponents have now decided to target my children and this is where I draw the line and state that this harassment of my children is a declaration of war. The system has crossed the line and I will fight it with all I have.”

Read his statement below:

The commission has issued a subpoena against the former president to appear before the commission at 10am on 16 November.

Failure to comply with a directive of the chairperson, without sufficient cause is a “criminal offence”, chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, said last week.

This comes after Zondo said last month that he would not negotiate with Zuma and his legal team on the dates that the former president should testify at the commission.

Zuma had failed to appeared before the commission as the former president was preparing for his arms deal court matter, according to a letter by his lawyers.

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