Judge Zondo takes day off from hearings to work on recusal judgment

Jacob Zuma to miss Wednesday hearing when Zondo delivers ruling

17 November 2020 - 11:38

State capture inquiry chairperson, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, on Tuesday announced that he was not ready to deliver his ruling on the application for his recusal brought by former president Jacob Zuma.

Zondo set the day aside to work on the ruling, which he promised to deliver on Wednesday, at earliest by 10am.

“Yesterday [Monday] I heard arguments on the recusal application and I indicated that I was hoping to give judgment this morning,” said Zondo.

“However, I am not going to give the ruling or judgment today because I am still working on it. I still have quite some documentation to go through carefully.

“I am going to use today to work on that judgment, so we are going to adjourn and resume tomorrow at 10, by which time I hope to be ready to deliver my ruling on the recusal application. If for some reason I am not ready at 10, communication will be sent to all concerned, but I'm aiming for 10 o'clock.”

Zuma's lawyer, advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, asked that his client be excused from attending on Wednesday owing to a family bereavement.

“He requests that he has an emergency and that he is not here tomorrow. He asks the chairperson to excuse him as something has happened. He has to go there.

“Depending on the outcome, we will communicate the situation because he is going there for a funeral. There is [a] death in the family.”

Sikhakhane added that Zuma will also be placing on record his response to Zondo's statement that there are no — and never were — personal relations between them.

Zuma will do this because he had thought “it was not relevant” before Zondo placed his version on record on Monday.

Zondo's version was that he has never been a friend nor socialised with Zuma, outside meeting him for professional purposes during his time as a practising attorney.

According to Zondo, neither he nor Zuma had ever attended each other's family events or birthday celebrations.

Sikhakhane said Zuma's version may say something different.

“We have consulted briefly with out client and our instructions are to put on record a statement that deals with your statement and may or may not put into dispute some of the things you have stated, so it is convenient that the ruling will happen tomorrow.”