DEPUTY Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has delayed his ruling of the recusal application brought by former president Jacob Zuma’s legal team, which took place on Monday.
Zondo said that he still had some documents to study before delivering his judgment on Wednesday morning. “I’m still working on it and still needs more time. I have got some documentation to go through I’m going to use today (Tuesday) to work on the judgment. So we are going to adjourn and resume tomorrow (Wednesday) at 10 (am),” Zondo said
Earlier on Monday, Zondo read out a letter to clarify the historical ties between himself and Zuma, saying the former president’s statement that they were friends was not accurate.
“Mr Zuma’s statement that we are friends is not accurate. He has never been to any of the homes that we have lived in. He met my wife in parliament or government,” said Zondo.
“Our personal relationship has been a cordial and pleasant one over the years but did not, generally speaking, involve discussions of any serious matters. This had to be so because we would normally interact when we met at the opening of Parliament or other government or state functions.”
According to Zuma’s statement, the two had a meeting when Zondo was promoted to the bench in 1997 and decided to draw a line under their friendship to ensure there was no perception of favouritism.
“Mr. Zuma was not president in 1997, he was MEC in KZN as he was not president. He could not have had any influence in my rise in my judicial career,” said Zondo.
“There was never a complaint that I should recuse myself I that matter or had found against Mr Duduzane’s company because I was biased against Mr Zuma’s family. I’ve sat in a number of matters which involved Mr Zuma as president and Mr Zuma has never complained over all these years that I had a close relationship with him, which disqualify me in sitting on matters which he was involved. In none of those matters did Mr Zuma bring an application for my recusal.”
Sikhakhane told Zondo that his client was justifiably “fearful” of appearing in a commission that had reinforced the perception that he is a criminal.
“You may have created an environment that enforces in his mind reasonably so that this forum is an extension of the narrative about him that everything that went wrong in South Africa is attributable to him,” he said.
“Chair, most people believe that we must give my client orange overalls and walk him into Kgosi Mampuru,” he continued.
“When a state is captured – I hope we never get there as a country – you need a wide range of witnesses. Not just the likes of Barbara Hogan, Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas. We listened to people saying they are not corrupt. The witnesses are a selection of people who had an axe to grind with him.”
Judgment is expected at 10am on Tuesday.
(SOURCE: INSIDE POLITICS)