Former President Jacob Zuma has formally asked Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to recuse himself from hearings when he appears before the State Capture Commission in November.
In a formal notification, originally reported by The Star, Zuma accused Zondo of harbouring personally biases and that he’s carrying out a vendetta against him by painting him as a non-compliant witness at the centre of the inquiry into State Capture.
“(Former) president Zuma views the recent media briefing as a culmination of a series of events by which he was singled out and targeted by the commission,” reads a letter, written by Advocate Eric Mabuza on Zuma’s behalf, as reported by IOL.
In light of this, Zuma has formally asked Zondo to recuse himself from the hearings in order to keep the proceedings impartial.
“For the reasons to be fully set out in the application to be made soon, we (the lawyers) are instructed (by Zuma) 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 and cannot bring an impartial mind to the issues and evidence that relate to him,” the letter continued.
“(Former) president Zuma’s conclusion that the chairperson is no longer capable of exercising an independent and impartial mind is fortified by what he views as the unwarranted public statements made by the chairperson at the said media briefing.”
It added that President Zuma has a personal relationship with Justice Zondo, which will have an effect on how the process plays out.
“(Former) President Zuma believes that the source of the chairperson’s bias against him stems from the fact that the (former) president and the chairperson have historical personal, family and professional relations that ought to have been publicly disclosed by the chairperson before accepting his appointment.”
Former President Zuma will be appearing before the Zondo State Capture Commission between 16 and 20 November to answer accusations of state capture.