IN QUOTES | Muzi Sikhakhane says state capture inquiry was established to 'sink' Zuma

17 November 2020 - 12:00
Jacob Zuma’s lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane says the former president feels the state capture inquiry is out to 'punish' him.
Jacob Zuma’s lawyer Muzi Sikhakhane says the former president feels the state capture inquiry is out to 'punish' him.
Image: Alaister Russell/The Sunday Times

Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, the lawyer of former president Jacob Zuma, on Monday criticised the establishment of the state capture inquiry, saying it was politically motivated to “sink” the former president.

Sikhakhane was presenting his argument before deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo about why he should recuse himself as chairperson of the inquiry.

Sikhakhane said some comments made by Zondo in Zuma's absence made him feel the inquiry “seeks to punish” and “lynch” him.

Here are five quotes from his argument: 

No fear

“How do we get out of this and have a commission in which each and every person, particularly the person who was central in the remedial action, you finish this with his contribution and without him fearing as he fears now?”

Inquiry must be fair 

“Apart from the animosity out there, which is political, you and I have the duty to ensure a legal process which is called a commission of inquiry - whether other people see it as a political platform to destroy their enemies is not our concern as lawyers. Our concern is R1bn or so has been poured into this process. Are we going to be fair if at the end that report is driven by a narrative which simply accepts there is one version?”

Zuma feels uncomfortable 

“I am not suggesting you've prejudged this matter in any way. I am saying to you in your comments in his absence, I want you to walk with me and look at whether a reasonable person, accused as he is, would be unreasonable to feel the forum seeks to punish him, lynch him, to agree with people who have come here to lynch him.”

Report must help SA 

“This report must be able to assist our nation in future against possibilities of plunder, not by one side, by everybody. No one, when we make policy in future, must be able to do whatever you will find has been done.”

How does the inquiry treat its witnesses?

“We are not just judged against how we treat people we like. Justice is how you treat those at the bottom of your pecking order. How do you treat people you despise? How do you treat a man you have already assumed messed up your country? Do you treat him humanely when you have brought him into a process?”

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