South Africa: Final Order - Concourt Rules Jacob Zuma Must Appear and Answer Questions At Zondo Commission

President Jacob Zuma (file photo).
analysis

The Constitutional Court has ordered the former president to comply with State Capture Commission summonses and answer questions unless he can prove they would be self-incriminating.

Former president Jacob Zuma must comply with directives and summonses issued by the State Capture Commission and appear to answer to the serious allegations against him, the Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday.

Handing down the order, Justice Chris Jafta said: "Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is directed to appear and give evidence before the commission on dates determined by it."

He said Zuma does not have a right to remain silent in front of commission chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

"This right is available to arrested and accused persons and not to witnesses."

Zuma, however, is entitled to privileges under the Commissions Act that give witnesses the right to not incriminate themselves. Witnesses cannot be compelled to answer a question that will expose them to a criminal charge, but they must provide sufficient grounds to claim that right.

The commission approached the Constitutional Court in December 2020 after Zuma left proceedings without permission in November when Zondo denied his application for the chairperson to recuse himself.

Zuma did not oppose the court application and...

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