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Bar Council Warns Zuma Over Zondo Commission Accusations

The General Council of the Bar of South Africa has responded to JG Zuma Foundation’s accusations against the Zondo Commission and renowned senior counsel Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, warning the former president that his continued disregard for court summons could land him in jail.

Zuma, who has been making every move that he can in order to avoid having his day in court over the State Capture scandal that marred his time in office and remains the biggest corruption story in the country. Earlier, Zuma said that he would not appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, unless Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo recuses himself from the case. Zuma believes that appearing before the commission, which he claims is biased against him will be akin to entering a “slaughterhouse”. Zondo later announced that he will be issuing a fresh summons to compel the former president to appear before the court.

More recently, the JG Zuma Foundation released a damning statement on counsel Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, who regularly represents the EFF, saying that a consultation between Ngcukaitobi and Zondo in the judge’s office had been improper. It claimed that Ngcukaitobi is “irregularly assisting” the Zondo commission to take court action against Zuma as part of a plot to bring Zuma down.

“There is no warrant for unfounded, unrestrained extra-curial attacks on the commission or its personnel, or the legal counsel who participate in its proceedings,” the bar council said, as reported by IOL. “Given that the JG Zuma Foundation has furthermore failed to identify any other legitimate basis that could possibly give rise to these conclusions, the GCB condemns them as a dangerous, unjustified and cynical attack on the rule of law.”

The council also said that Zuma’s intent on defying court orders will ultimately lead to criminal prosecution.

“These comments are especially worthy of censure in circumstances where the statement itself indicates that Mr Zuma is prepared to ‘face jail’, and thus evidently recognises that his conduct in failing to comply with the commission’s subpoena and directions exposes him to prosecution and imprisonment.”

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