International

Ex-S. African Prez Zuma ordered to testify in corruption inquiry

JOHANNESBURG, JAN 29 (IANS) | Publish Date: 1/29/2021 1:31:45 PM IST

The South African Constitutional Court has ordered former President Jacob Zuma to appear and testify before a state inquiry panel set up to probe corruption during his administration.

“Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma is ordered to obey all summons and directives lawfully issued by the Judiciary Commission of Inquiry into allegations of State Capture,” the highest court said in its ruling on Thursday. He “does not have the right to remain silent during these proceedings”, the ruling added.
The ruling came after Zuma refused to appear and give evidence before the inquiry in November last year, claiming the chair of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo was biased against him, reports Xinhua news agency. Zuma’s legal team previously said if he was compelled to appear at the inquiry, he wouldn’t testify, however, the court directed him to give evidence.
The Constitutional Court also ordered Zuma to pay all the costs including the expenses of two legal representatives.
It was not immediately clear what actions the embattled former president is likely to take now as the apex court compelled him to testify before the commission. His corruption trial is scheduled to begin this year after several delays in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The former leader, who was in office from May 2009 to February 2018, testified only once before the commission in July 2019.
But he withdrew after a few days considering he was treated as an “accused” and not as a witness.
 

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