Durban – One of the sons of former president Jacob Zuma, Edward Zuma, has become the latest high profile figure to criticise Deputy Chief Justice Judge Raymond Zondo, who chairs the ongoing state capture commission, for the way he is treating the former leader of the country.
In an open letter penned on Sunday, Edward Zuma demanded that Zondo should recuse himself when the ex-president appears before the commission in November.
The outburst stems from the September 21 press conference by Zondo where he said he was not willing to negotiate with Zuma and his legal team on when to appear before the commission. He then said Zuma would be summoned to appear from November 16 to 20 this year to answer to allegations made by several witnesses that he aided state capture by bending to the Guptas.
That decision outraged Zuma’s supporters from Gauteng (Gauteng RET President Zuma support group), who said Zondo was targeting Zuma and was not forcing others like Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan to appear before the commission to be cross-examined.
Later in the week, the Jacob Zuma Foundation added its voice to the chorus of criticism against Zondo and said he was using Zuma to secure the soon-to-be-vacant position of chief justice by “targetting” him for public humiliation.
On Sunday, Edward said Zondo even violated the country’s constitution while engaging in “theatrics” against Zuma.
According to him, Zondo was gunning for Zuma because he is on a self-preservation path. Further, like the foundation, Edwards alleged that Zondo was eyeing the chief justice position and was proving himself to the appointing authority by being harsh on Zuma.
“Zondo through Zuma, has raised his hand to be nominated to become the next chief justice,” Edward claimed.
He then pleaded with Zondo not to allow his personal issues to cloud him and “his anger” towards the former president should not suppress his judicial judgment.
“The best Zondo can do now is to recuse himself as he has clearly shown there are politicians like Jamnandas (Gordhan’s other name) that he is afraid of or protects. The integrity of the state capture commission is now compromised in a big way. Zondo has played into the hands of politicians who hate former president Jacob Zuma.”
In response to all the statements made against Zondo, the spokesperson of the commission, Reverend Mbuyiselo Stemela said: “The DCJ (deputy chief justice) does not intend to respond to or comment on the statement(s).”