Home » Zuma: South Africa anti-graft inquiry is biased towards me

Zuma: South Africa anti-graft inquiry is biased towards me

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picture copyrightAFP
picture captionEx-President Jacob Zuma is accused of permitting a rich enterprise household to affect political selections
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South Africa’s former President Jacob Zuma has requested the pinnacle of a fee investigating corruption throughout his presidency to step apart over alleged “bias”, his attorneys mentioned.

Mr Zuma has did not re-appear earlier than the fee as has been requested.

But Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has set a “non-negotiable” date for him to seem.

Allegations of corruption dogged Mr Zuma’s presidency and led him to resign in February 2018.

The former president’s lawyer has mentioned that he wouldn’t participate till Mr Zondo is changed.

In a letter to the fee, Eric Mabuza mentioned: “We are instructed to seek your recusal as chairperson of the commission on the ground that our client reasonably apprehends that you have already adopted a biased disposition towards him.”

He mentioned that Mr Zondo was now not able to “exercising an independent and impartial mind”.

‘State seize’

“President Zuma has always expressed his willingness to cooperate with the commission. This is in spite of his reservations about the legality of the commission and in particular, your suitability as chairperson, given your personal relations with him”.

The inquiry, often known as the Zondo Commission, was established to research the “state capture” scandal throughout Mr Zuma’s tenure as president.

Anti-Zuma marchers in Pretoria, South Africa
picture captionIn 2016, hundreds marched within the capital, Pretoria, calling for Mr Zuma to step down over the graft allegations

This centred round allegations about an Indian enterprise household, the Guptas, who gained profitable contracts with state corporations.

The household has additionally been accused of making an attempt to affect political selections, together with the naming of ministers.

The Guptas have mentioned that there have been no instances to reply and that they have been within the means of clearing their identify “in the face of unfounded media allegations”.

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Delay or due course of?

Analysis, Pumza Fihlani, BBC News, Johannesburg

Supporter of Jacob Zuma raising her fistpicture copyrightReuters

Even although he has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, some say he has used his qualities as a tenacious fighter to remain out of the courts, baffling for somebody who has at all times insisted that he would take up the primary alternative to clear his identify.

While some see this newest wrangling over the Zondo Commission as an try to delay the investigation and purchase time to plan, his supporters see this merely him exercising his proper to a good authorized course of.

Incidentally, it was Mr Zuma who appointed Mr Zondo to the position, shortly earlier than he was compelled to step down as president.

At the time he mentioned: “I would like to emphasise that I have faith in all the judges and their ability to execute their tasks with the requisite levels of fairness, impartiality and independence.”

It would appear these days are lengthy gone.

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Mr Zondo has chaired the fee for greater than two years and it has heard testimony from ministers, ex-ministers, authorities officers, politicians and enterprise executives.

Last week Mr Zuma mentioned he was too sick to testify.

As a consequence, Mr Zondo held a televised media briefing the place he ordered Mr Zuma to testify in November.

Making a televised announcement “attests to the fact that he seeks to portray him as uncooperative and belligerent in the eyes of the public”, Mr Zuma’s lawyer argued within the letter.

The former president first appeared on the fee in July 2019 when he mentioned he had been “vilified”.

He was then known as again to offer additional proof.

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