Media statement issued at the instance of the Chairperson of the Commission on 29 October 2020
1. In their letter dated 28 September 2020 addressed to the Chairperson of the Commission, the Deputy Chief Justice, Mr Jacob Zuma's attorneys, Mabuza Attorneys, stated that Mr Zuma believed that the Chairperson of the Commission is biased against him and gave "historical" "family" relations between Mr Zuma and the Chairperson as one source of such alleged bias.
2. At the time of the receipt of the letter the Chairperson of the Commission decided not to respond to, or, comment on, any of the allegations made on the basis that, as it was said that Mr Zuma was going to lodge an application for the Chairperson's recusal, the Chairperson would respond to Mr Zuma's allegations properly once that application had been lodged.
It is now more than a month since receipt of that letter and the Commission has not received that application. In the meantime and in response to certain media enquiries and media requests for comments on the alleged "family" relations and about certain specific allegations concerning a child, the Chairperson has decided to address this matter and clarify it once and for all and indicate what he thinks Mr Zuma may be referring to.
3. The Chairperson's statement in this regard reads:
"In the mid 1990s - that is about 25 years ago - when I was in my 30s and was still in private practice as a lawyer - I got into a relationship with a certain woman out of which a child was born. That relationship ended during the 1990s. Unbeknown to anybody at the time, that woman's sister, Ms Thobeka Madiba, was, many years after that relationship had ended, to get married to Mr Jacob Zuma. To my knowledge Mr Zuma had no relationship with Ms Thobeka Madiba in the mid 1990s.
That Mr Zuma happened to marry the sister of a woman with whom I had had a relationship that had ended so many years before that marriage has never had any bearing on the execution of my judicial functions in the many matters involving Mr Zuma in which I have sat as a Justice of the Constitutional Court since 2012 nor does it have any bearing on the execution of my duties as Chairperson of the Commission. Indeed, in none of the many matters involving Mr Zuma in which I have sat in the past has Mr Zuma ever expressed any complaint or concern nor has he ever brought an application for my recusal.
I thought it is necessary to bring the above clarification but I do not at this stage intend to address any of the other allegations made in Mr Zuma's attorney's letter as I will deal with them if and when Mr Zuma's application for my recusal is lodged."
Issued by the Secretary of the Commission at the instance of the Chairperson of the Commission, 29 October 2020