AFRICAN MIRROR REPORTER
THE highest court in South Africa has ruled that former president Jacob Zuma should appear, give evidence and answer questions at the Zondo Commission into state capture, fraud and corruption.
The Constitutional Court not only ordered that Zuma must obey all summonses issued by the Zondo Commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, but also slapped Zuma with the cost of the application.
In a unanimous decision, the court said while Zuma does not have the right not to answer questions, he would be entitled to show to the commission why answering questions may incriminate him.
Judge Chris Japhta, who delivered the judgment on behalf of his colleagues, said: “Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is ordered to obey all summones and directives issued by the judicial commissionof inquiry into allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud in the public sector, including organs of state. Mr Zuma is directed to appear and give evidence before the commission on dates determined by it. It is declared that Mr Zuma does not have the right to remain silent in the proceedings before the commission. It is declared that Mr Zuma is entitled to all privileges under section 3 (4) of the Commissions Act, including the privilege against self-incrimination.”
The ruling comes after the Zondo Commission approached the Constitutional Court, seeking an order to compel Zuma to appear before it. The commission took the step after the former president left a hearing of the commission without the permission of the presiding officer.
Zuma has also accused Zondo of bias and instituted legal proceedings, asking him to himself from chairing the commission.