Jacob Zuma’s legal team is set to oppose an application that is intending at compelling the former president to appear again before the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in two weeks’ time.
The commission will be commencing for the first time this year Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo will be briefed by the legal team for an order authorising the commission’s acting secretary, Peter Pedlar, to issue a summons for Zuma to appear between January 27 and 31.
In November last year, Zuma failed to reappear at the commission as scheduled, Zuma’s lawyers saying he was too ill to give further testimony following his first appearances months earlier when he gave explosive evidence.
But it appears he is unlikely to set foot at the commission again.
On Sunday his lawyer, Daniel Mantsha, said Zuma had noted the commission’s intention and would be responding adequately on Tuesday.
“Former president Zuma is opposing the commission application set down for (tomorrow),” Mantsha said.
Last week, it was heard that Zuma had refused to undergo a lie detector test. This was after former Mineral Resources and Public Administration minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi wrote to the commission following Zuma’s claims that he (Ramatlhodi) was an apartheid spy recruited in the 1980s while studying in Lesotho.
Ramatlhodi exclusively told Independent Media last week that he had initially requested a test be conducted a few weeks after the claims were made in July last year, but the commission did not have ground to force witnesses to conduct one.
Ramatlhodi said instead, the commission had asked him to prepare a sworn affidavit to state his side of the story and the content of the affidavit was supposed to be put before Zuma during his aborted appearance, which was scheduled for mid-November last year.
He didn’t pitch for that hearing.
Ramatlhodi also said that he would not personally cross-examine Zuma, but that the ex-president would be given the affidavit and when he appeared before the commission, he would be asked to respond to the spy allegations he made.
Ramatlhodi is not the only person who was so named by Zuma. Zuma also named his former Communications minister, General Siphiwe Nyanda, and described former Tourism minister Derek Hanekom as a “known enemy agent”.
Nyanda is reportedly demanding financial compensation of R800000 from Zuma, while Hanekom won a defamation lawsuit against Zuma, with Durban High Court Judge Dhaya Pillay finding that the former president’s tweet about the ex-minister was untrue, defamatory and unlawful.
Zuma was ordered to pay damages and take down the tweet – which has not yet been removed. He has since sought to appeal the ruling.
In the meantime, the commission will on Wednesday hear evidence relating to law enforcement agencies.