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South Africa’s Zuma to face criminal charge

ZumaFormer South African president Jacob Zuma
Former South African president Jacob Zuma

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture (Zondo Commission)said a criminal charge would be laid against Former President Jacob Zuma for refusing to appear and testify at the inquiry investigating corruption.

“With regard to Mr. Zuma’s decision not to appear before the Commission during the week of the 18th to the 22nd of January 2021 as he had been required to do in terms of one of the Commission’s summonses served on him, the Chairperson has asked the Secretary of the Commission to lay a criminal complaint against Mr Zuma,” said the commission in a statement released late on Tuesday night.

Zuma released a lengthy statement on Monday in which he said he would not comply with the orders of the Constitutional Court which compelled him to appear at the commission. He claimed that he was being treated unfairly and accused the court of conspiring against him.

Other summons issued show that he is required before the commission from 15 to 19 of February this year.

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Itumeleng Mosala, secretary of the commission said that if Zuma failed to comply with the February summons, he would be in breach of the summons against him.

“Should Mr. Zuma carry out his decision not to appear before the Commission on February 15, 2021 and, therefore, act in breach of the summons and in contempt of the order of the Constitutional Court, the Commission will announce on that day what further action it will take in regard to such conduct,” he said.

Zuma appeared at the commission in 2019 after being complicated by over 30 witnesses including cabinet ministers, director generals and board members. His friends the Guptas who are at the centre of the commission fled South Africa and are wanted. Last year, he refused to appear at the commission accusing Chairperson Zondo of being biased against him. Enditem