'I do not fear being arrested': Zuma flouts Constitutional Court order
Former president again refuses to appear before Zondo at state capture inquiry
Former president Jacob Zuma has vowed not to co-operate with the state capture inquiry despite a ruling by the Constitutional Court compelling him to do so.
The decision will put Zuma squarely in contempt of the highest court in the land.
In a statement released by the Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Foundation on Monday, the former statesman says he does not fear going to prison should his decision to not co-operate with the inquiry be considered a violation of the law.
“If this stance is considered to be a violation of their law, then let their law take its course,” Zuma said.
“I do not fear being arrested. I do not fear being convicted nor do I fear being incarcerated.”
The apex court last week ruled that Zuma has to not only appear before the inquiry but must answer questions posed to him. It said in its judgment that Zuma does not have the right to remain silent when he appears.
Zuma said he was detained by the apartheid government during the struggle and served 10 years on Robben Island.
“I had never imagined there would come a time when a democratic government in SA built on constitutional values would behave exactly like the apartheid government in creating legal processes designed to target specific individuals in society.
“Witnessing this carries a much more amplified pain when realising it is a black liberated government behaving in this way against one of their own,” he said.
Zuma still contends his decision not to participate in the inquiry rests on his contention that its chairperson, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, is conflicted and biased and should recuse himself.
He maintains his earlier argument that the previous personal relationship with Zondo renders him unfit to hear his evidence and he will therefore not appear before him.
“I have never said I do not want to appear before the commission, but have said I cannot appear before deputy chief justice Zondo because of a well-founded apprehension of bias and a history of personal relations between the deputy chief justice and myself,” he said.
“I have taken the decision by the deputy chief justice not to recuse himself on review as I believe his presiding over the proceedings does not provide me the certainty of a fair and just hearing.”
The inquiry, according to Zuma, is specifically designed to investigate him. He said it should therefore be named the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture against Jacob Zuma - “as it has obviously been established to investigate me specifically”.