Zondo Commission must use subpoena powers to prevent Zuma’s evading of accountability
11 November 2019
The Democratic Alliance (DA) has taken note of former President Jacob Zuma’s failure to appear before the Zondo Commission reportedly due to being ill.
While no-one has the right to invalidate any person’s state of health, the reality is that Zuma has been successfully evading accountability for years. The DA therefore urges the Zondo Commission to use its subpoena powers to ensure that Zuma appears before it to answer crucial questions about his role in the capture of the state.
More than ten years after the “Spy Tapes” saga caused corruption charges against Zuma to be withdrawn, and despite court orders reinstating those charges, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) have been prevented from starting to present its case due to a Stalingrad strategy by Zuma’s lawyers that includes appeals, applications for a stay of prosecution, and more appeals.
This is nevertheless the case on which there has been the most movement – Zuma has applied the same Stalingrad strategy that he is now employing in the Pietermaritzburg division of the KwaZulu-Natal High Court to avoid answering probing questions in all other matters that are being investigated, or that ought to be investigated, against him.
The Zondo Commission was established in order to provide South Africans with answers. This Commission’s findings could potentially result in the launch of dozens of prosecutions. Its work is too important to be held ransom by an errant former President who by all accounts should have been convicted and jailed for gross alleged financial crimes years ago.
The DA calls on Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to use his Commission’s subpoena powers to force Zuma to appear before it, so that accountability and justice will not be delayed.
Issued by Glynnis Breytenbach, DA Shadow Minister of Justice, 11 November 2019