Former SA President, Jacob Zuma, was scheduled to attend the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Monday 15 February 2021. He failed to do so and instead, sent a letter to the Commission via his lawyers. In the letter Zuma says that he cannot attend the hearing because he is awaiting a decision of the Pretoria High Court in his application to review the decision of Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo refusing his earlier application for the judge to recuse himself.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo found Zuma’s reasons for his failure to appear to be invalid and he accordingly dismissed them. The judge was now faced with a dilemma as to what to do with the defiant Zuma. The judge found either that he had no powers to authorise a warrant of arrest or that Zuma had violated an order of the Constitutional Court directing him to attend the hearing, and that it was that court which had appropriate powers to decide on the way forward. The judge directed the secretary of the commission to refer the matter to the Constitutional Court once again and as a matter of urgency, and specifically to request the authorisation of a warrant of arrest. He indicated that Zuma had the right to oppose that application when it is eventually brought in the Constitutional Court.
Meanwhile at Nkandla, Zuma’s residence, Zuma was even more defiant. Prior to the 15th of February 2021, Zuma received a visit from EFF leader, Julius Malema, ostensibly to drink tea. The purpose of the visit has not yet been disclosed, but it took place a few days before the State of the Nation address, where Malema subsequently went on the attack against President Cyril Ramaphosa accusing him of being incompetent, incapacitated and the most unreliable human being on the planet and having failed to achieve anything for South Africa and that he has declared himself as an enemy of the people. He said that corruption was on the rise under Ramaphosa sponsored and monitored by the cabinet. He accused the judiciary of conspiring with politicians to deal with the opponents of the current regime.
The MK military veterans arrived at Nkandla a day prior to the scheduled appearance and have remained there vowing to protect Zuma in the event of an attempt to arrest Zuma in connection with his failure to appear at the Commission.
The Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, also visited Zuma at his Nkandla home. He says that they discussed issues in general. He reported to the President and the Deputy Secretary General of the ANC. He undertook the visit in order to try a prevent a disaster before it happens. The police may be required to execute the warrant of arrest against former President Zuma if it is issued.