Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has requested that a criminal complaint be laid against Jacob Zuma for walking out on the State Capture Commission of Inquiry with out permission last week.
Zuma left the commission shortly after Zondo had dismissed the request for the judge to recuse himself from future proceedings within the State Capture commission.
According to the law, any person who failed to appear when summoned to give evidence at a commission shall be guilty of an offence.
Zondo explained in a judgement on Monday: “The summons directing Mr Zuma to attend and remain in attendance was at the time of his departure from the commission still valid and binding and had not been set aside. Section 6 sub-section 1 of the Commissions Act, number 8 of 1947, which deals with attendance of a witness who has been summoned is clear. It reads: ‘Any person summoned to attend and give evidence before a commission, who without sufficient cause fails to attend at the time and place specified by the summons or to remain in attendance until he is excused by the chairman of the commission from further attendance, shall be guilty of an offence.'”
Zondo described Zuma’s actions as a ‘serious matter’ which impacts on the integrity of the commission, the rule of law and public accountability.
He followed with: “It is important that we all remember that the matters which this commission is investigating and the matters on which it seeks to question Mr Zuma are matters that happened largely when Mr Zunma was president of the republic and had an obligation to account for what was happening during his presidency.”
New dates for Zuma’s appearance will be set and the commission will approach the Constitutional Court on an urgent basis for an order, directing the former president to appear before the commission.