Earlier this week former President Jacob Zuma’s legal team sent a letter to the State Capture Commission, indicating that they intend to launch an application for the recusal of Deputy Chief Justice (DCJ) Raymond Zondo as chair of the Commission, and announcing that Zuma will take no further part in the Commission until the application for recusal is finalised. While the legal grounds for recusal seem to be weak, Mr Zuma and his lawyers may hope that the recusal application will provide Zuma with legal and political cover if he ignores a summons to testify before the Commission.
Former President Jacob Zuma has often expressed a willingness to cooperate with the state capture Commission of Inquiry, while not, in fact, cooperating. Instead, Mr Zuma has argued that the Commission was infringing on his rights by trying to provide him with an opportunity to refute the testimony of witnesses implicating him in wrongdoing. Most notably, Mr Zuma has argued that the notion of state capture is a political invention created to advance a factional narrative, and that the Commission’s failure to accept this view and to reject the testimony of all the witnesses who implicated him showed its bias towards him. In an affidavit submitted to the Commission in January this year, he thus concluded: (more…)
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Over the last 150 days we have learned much about the power of the habitual in post-millennial, post-apartheid South Africa. We have heard it in the grumbling, cavilling, quarrelling and grousing about the logic (or lack of) of government decrees. We have also seen it in the defiance of logic among the many bourgeois folks who mistook their entitlement for rights, whether to go running, do yoga on the beach, surf, get takeaway coffees, or to purchase items subjected to restricted trade… We saw it in the contradictory messages relayed by official government channels, in the conflict between some experts advising government, between government officials and such experts, and in the ways in which opposition parties contradicted themselves as they opposed government proclamations.