I am not a friend of ex-president Jacob Zuma – Deputy Judge President


SOUTH African Deputy Judge President has tabled a set of facts which seeks to prove that he is neither a friend of nor have family relations with ex-president Jacob Zuma, who has accused him of bias and sought his recusal from the state capture commission.

In a statement read at the start of a special hearing to hear an application for his recusal, Zondo also poked holes in Zuma’s affidavit.

Zuma, who deposed the affidavit last week, attended the proceedings, accompanied by his daughter. He has contended that he has a close and personal relationship with Zondo. Zuma also claimed  a conflict of interest due to Zondo’s relationship with his wife’s sister. Zondo has revealed that he has a child with Zuma’s sister-in-law but stated that the child was born before Zuma married Thobeka Madiba.

In his opening statement, Zondo stated that:

Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane
  • The statement that he and Zuma are friends is not accurate.
  • Zuma has never been his client.
  • Zuma has not been to the deputy judge president’s residences in KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg.
  • He and Zuma have not socialized together.
  • He never invited Zuma to any functions, including his birthday.
  • He never got told of bereavements in the Zondo family nor has he attended funerals in that family, including the deputy judge president’s mother and four siblings.
  • Zuma has never attended any funerals or informed the Zondo family.
  • He has had no private meals with the former president.
  • He has never been to Zuma’s office or official residence when he was president.
  • When he was in private practice in KwaZulu-Natal, he interacted with Zuma and other ANC officials who were clients of his law firm.
  • He presided over several matters involving Zuma and one involving his son and his impartiality was, in all the cases, not called into question.
  •  He was once asked by Zuma and others to provide legal service to Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini but he declined and referred them to a colleague.
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In his opening address, Zuma’s lawyer Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, said the former president’s attendance was proof of the respect he has for deputy judge president and the commission. Sikhakhane is scheduled to go into the main reasons behind Zuma’s application which are expected to include some remarks made by Zondo in the commission.

The application continues.

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