Chief Justice Raymond Zondo declines to respond to Zuma's rant against him

23 October 2022 - 10:12
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Legally, Zuma said Zondo (pictured) should have recused himself.
Legally, Zuma said Zondo (pictured) should have recused himself. 
Image: Gallo Images/Fani Mahuntsi

The office of chief justice Raymond Zondo has declined to respond to comments by former president Jacob Zuma who on Saturday launched a scathing attack against him.

“Having read Mr Zuma's written speech, the chief justice has said that he does not intend to respond to it or to say on it further,” Zondo's office said on Saturday. 

Zuma held a media briefing where he criticised Zondo and his conduct as chair of the commission of inquiry into state capture.

PODCAST | Is it possible to hold Zuma to account, despite the risk of unrest?

He accused Zondo of not being honest about his relationship with him, a reason Zuma cited when he asked Zondo to recuse himself.

Zuma also said Zondo had “selective memory” when it came to the meetings they had together.

“Chief justice is my friend, relative and comrade,” said Zuma.

He added: “When I was the chair of the province (of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal) he was a man I knew. In the commission I said I wanted him to recuse himself because he is going to be tainted because he is my friend.”

Legally, Zuma said Zondo should have recused himself. 

“I was helping him. It’s not true that we are not friends, he is my friend and he spoke at my wedding because he was given a chance to speak in Nkandla,” said Zuma.

He added: “His s'bari (brother-in-law) was getting married into our family.”

The reason he decided to address the matter publicly is because Zondo also made the statements in public, said Zuma.

“Including my going to prison. I did not have time to sit in any place like a court to deal with these matters. What I have said Zondo has done, he has done. I have addressed Zondo through my lawyers and there is nothing that I am doing here that is a secret.”

Asked about the private meetings that took place between him and Zondo, some of which he claimed were at his request, Zuma said: “These were private discussions and I am not saying anything about it. What I am saying is that he had denied that we had a relationship and then later agreed that we had a lot of meetings.”

He declined to share what the two discussed during the private discussions. “The meetings were private, for me and him, not you,” said a giggling Zuma.

: “In denying having had any past relationship with me, he interestingly did not state what he has recently stated in the interview with the JSC to become chief justice.”

Zuma said he takes full responsibility for what happened during his tenure “I have always taken responsibility during my time, I was responsible. I take responsibility.”

He added that during his tenure he ended load-shedding and would not take responsibility for the current power crisis.


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