Following former President Jacob Zuma’s disappearance from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture last Thursday, the Deputy Chief Justice has instructed the secretary of the Commission to lay criminal charges with the South African Police Service and to bring an urgent application to the Constitutional Court to compel Zuma to attend the Commission and to remain in attendance until duly excused by the chairperson of the Commission.
Zuma has been refusing to give evidence at the Commission as he does not want to face tough questions relating to his tenure as President of the Republic of South Africa. The evidence at the commission so far shows his presidency was marked by widespread collapse of State Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) such as Eskom, Denel, PRASA, SAA, the SABC and many more jeopardizing job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of South Africans in the process. That the effects are still being felt now as organisations such as the SABC embark on retrenchments of hundreds of its employees. Electricity tariffs have skyrocketed as Eskom tries to recover the billions of rands that were lost when Zuma was president. The Guptas and Bosasa have been fingered as the main culprits in the drama that unfolded in the ten years between 2007 and 2017 assisted by many who held positions of power. The Guptas have since disappeared into thin air leaving Zuma to answer to all the incriminations. Bosasa boss, Gavin Watson , is said to have died in a car crash as evidence also implicated him in the capture of the Department of Correctional Services.
The Zondo Commission has been hearing witness after witness implicating the former president in undue influence in the proper functioning of these institutions which has resulted in their dramatic losses and eventual collapse. President Zuma has always denied any wrong doing from outside. Now that he is offered an olive branch to state his version of events, he wants to have nothing to do with the Commission. He has unsuccessfully attempted to challenge the authority of the Commission , which he himself has appointed and given the mandate to investigate, as well as the neutrality of the presiding officer. and when that failed, he walked out of the Commission. It remains to be seen what will happen in the coming days concerning this matter.