This is after Zuma’s lawyers informed the Commission that he would be unable to appear this week as scheduled, due to him preparing for his Arms Deal criminal trial due to proceed in December, and his doctors advising that he not move around too much due to the state of his health and his age.
Zondo has set down the dates for Zuma to testify for the 16th to the 20th of November.
Zuma had failed on several occasions to appear before the commission as planned due to reported ill health – hence the bid for a subpoena to compel his to return to the inquiry.
Besides the former President, the Commission is set to in the coming months hear testimony from a number of high profile people including ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa with the probe expected to only deliver its final report early next year.
For three days in July last year, Zuma testified to the State Capture Commission about a long-standing conspiracy to politically destroy and ultimately kill him.
He gave shocking testimony about a number of his comrades – notably former Ministers Ngoako Ramatlhodi and Siphiwe Nyanda’s complicity with the former apartheid government.
The proceedings were tense with Zuma’s legal team repeatedly complaining about what it saw as misplaced attempts to cross-examine their client by the Commission’s legal team contrary to the Commission’s rule.
Zuma’s Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane said at the time: “And now I need him to make up his mind whether he wants to be cross-examined because it is clear it’s just been confirmed he is being cross-examined Chair. All I am asking Chair because I advised my client to respect this process come here cooperate with it. I want to consider that position because I think I advised him in bona fide but I do not think I was right and I would like him to consider his position because it is now clear to me he is being cross-examined on the version, not his version on what people said.”
Zuma has been implicated in a number of witnesses’ testimonies including former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, former Government Communication’s Head Themba Maseko and former Intelligence Chief Mo Shaik, amongst others. Ultimately, a deal was made between the Commission and Zuma’s legal teams to facilitate Zuma’s continued participation.
Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, says the application to get former President Jacob Zuma to testify before the Commission is before the courts.
Zondo was updating the media on the work of the Commission during the national lockdown.
He says the lockdown has effectively stalled the process to force Zuma to testify.
Meanwhile, Zondo says the lockdown has also set back plans for President Cyril Ramaphosa to appear before the Commission.
“I had planned that President Ramaphosa would be asked to come to the commission around July, that was before the national lockdown happened. [The] lockdown has forced us to rearrange things … so it’s going to take some time before he appears,” adds Zondo.