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Former spy boss Arthur Fraser opposes candidacy of Raymond Zondo for chief justice

19 October 2021 - 22:18
Arthur Fraser has a beef with deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
Arthur Fraser has a beef with deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo.
Image: Gallo Images/Netwerk24/Jaco Marais

Former spy boss Arthur Fraser has formally objected to the nomination of deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo as a candidate for the position of chief justice.

In a letter, Fraser said Zondo was demonstrably not a fit and proper candidate to be the face and embodiment of the values enshrined by the constitution.

The contestation was based on how he was treated as a witness at the state capture commission of inquiry.

“I have reason to believe that his conduct was deliberate and sought to protect those I would have exposed to be the real culprits in capturing or attempting to recapture the state.

“I further have reason to believe that his deliberate conduct sought to protect the real origins of the idea of the commission as a foreign-sponsored concept,” said Fraser.

He added that “together with Mr Paul Pretorius SC (head of the commission’s legal team and evidence leader) he deliberately permitted no less than 10 witnesses to present falsehoods about me without affording me even one opportunity to state my version before the commission or to defend myself against any of the allegations made against me.

“I have reason to believe that deputy chief justice Zondo did this to endear himself with the political class so that he can secure the position of chief justice for which he is now nominated,” Fraser said.

The shortlisting panel scrutinising nominations by the public for the position of chief justice has received 564 submissions of public comment in favour of or in objection to nominees.

The period for public comment closed on Friday October 15.

Panel chairperson judge Navanethem Pillay has expressed the panel’s appreciation for public participation in the process.

Fraser said Zondo’s treatment of witnesses that were not suitable for the narrative of state capture by the infamous Gupta brothers showed his lack of independence and a lack of judicial integrity. “Such a person cannot and should never be entrusted with the highest judicial office in the land. His appointment would signal the death of our judiciary and would have a corrosive effect on our democratic values as a country,” he added.

Adding to the blows, Fraser said he had knowledge of people who were carefully selected to execute him.

“It is this information that deputy chief justice Zondo vehemently opposed to prevent me from exposing. It also sought to conceal and protect the role of old apartheid security intelligence networks in capturing the postapartheid state.”