DOCUMENTS

Jacob G Foundation responds to Zondo

Statement accuses courts of being part of a political onslaught against the ex-President

RESPONSE TO THE DEPUTY CHIEF JUSTICE — R. ZONDO STATEMENT

31 October 2020

The Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Foundation ("the Foundation") has noted the statement issued by the Deputy Chief Justice on 29 October 2020 and the declaration that he fathered a child with the sister to President Zuma's wife. We are happy that, for whatever reason, the Deputy Chief Justice has decided, albeit late, to take the nation into his confidence about this delicate matter.

The Foundation has also noted the disturbing sponsored media narrative that followed as soon as the statement was released. As if primed to descend on President Zuma and his lawyers, media houses were abuzz, falsely accusing President Zuma's lawyers of using a private matter to fight a legal case. This was a deliberate diversion, sponsored to divert attention away from the source of the declaration, the Deputy Chief Justice himself. We invite the public to peruse the letter sent by President Zuma's attorneys and you will notice that no such accusation was made. This, the media knows, but ignored it in order to propagate lies about President Zuma.

In doing this, they deliberately ignored the fact that the admission was made by the Deputy Chief Justice himself. We have already expressed our reservations about the appropriateness of media statements by the Deputy Chief Justice. We maintain that these statements are reserved for President Zuma and no other witness. They are part of the pattern that has emerged from our courts, to develop jurisprudence that seeks to deal with President Zuma and those thought to be associated and aligned to him.

We wish to remind the public that the application for the recusal of the Deputy Chief Justice has not been filed and attributing this disclosure to him and his lawyers is mere mischief designed to save the image of the Deputy Chief Justice. The timing of the media statement is indeed intriguing as it is clear that it was the advice of the hidden barroom masters and their advisors, trying in vain to do a pre-emptive strike for their man. It is rather curious that the Deputy Chief Justice deemed it necessary and appropriate to comment on a matter that is still to be placed before him for adjudication.

Neither President Zuma nor his lawyers ever mentioned the issue of fathering a child by the Deputy Chief Justice. It is rather unfortunate for the media and its sponsored analysts stooped so low as to be part of the Deputy Chief Justice's inappropriate propaganda and publicity stunt. We request the Deputy Chief Justice and his public relations advisers to be patient and wait for the recusal application.

Even though there is no price for guessing what the Deputy Chief Justice will decide, it is our view that it was inappropriate to panic and seek to pre-empt the application. We are not even certain this matter was to form the subject of the recusal application. There was actually no need for panic as the outcome is safe in the Deputy Chief Justice's hands.

The Foundation has also noted the judgment of the Supreme Court of Appeal dismissing with punitive costs the appeal against the order of the North Gauteng High Court imposing personal costs against President Zuma. While we did not expect any positive outcome from a South African court in a matter relating to President Zuma. we had hoped that our courts would have some decency to steer clear from politics.

We note that our courts have become part of the political onslaught against President Zuma, bending the law in order to serve political elites that seek to scapegoat President Zuma for all the ills that confront South Africa. It is clear that punishing President Zuma has become a guarantee for a career in the judiciary.

We implore the Deputy Chief Justice to maintain the decorum of a judge, even if he is mandated by the hidden backroom masters and their advisors to produce a particular outcome.

Issued by the Jacob G Zuma Foundation, 31 October 2020