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Tag: Raymond Zondo

ANC Top Brass Respects Zuma’s Rights

Secretary general of the African National Congress (ANC),  Ace Magashule, said the party’s top officials had made a decision to respect former President Jacob Zuma’s rights. The top 6 held a virtual meeting with the former leader on Monday night over his decision to defy a Constitutional Court order to return to the state capture inquiry.

Ace Magashule described the meeting, which lasted 5 hours, as positive, constructive, energising and giving of hope to the people of South Africa. Zuma missed his deadline to oppose the state capture commission’s contempt of court application, which is currently before the Constitutional Court. The former president maintained that he will go back to the witness stand at the inquiry if its chairperson Raymond Zondo recuses himself.

Magashule said the top six meeting with Zuma anchored around the country’s Constitution and the Bill of Rights. He described it as one of the best meetings ever held, and told journalists during Monday night’s media briefing that Zuma delivered an extensive presentation to ANC leaders explaining his position.

“And we all agreed that there has not been any intention to undermine the Constitution of South Africa.”

The top officials were tasked by the national executive committee during its meeting last month to engage the former leader to understand his decision to defy the constitutional court.   Magashule said the party respected Zuma’s rights and had decided to give him space to deal with the matter.

“Whether to appear before the state commission, judicial commission of inquiry… we have left that matter because he will further consult with his lawyers.”

 

Zuma Defies Zondo – Let the games begin

It is official, former President Jacob Zuma will not be appearing at the state capture commission on Monday at 10am, despite the ANC’s attempts to convince him to do so.  Zuma’s lawyer Eric Mabuza said that it was not defiance of either the commission or the Constitutional Court.

Mabuza said that Zuma was still waiting for an outcome on his review application for Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to recuse himself and the matter was not before the Constitutional Court, so it didn’t make a ruling on it.

Mabuza wrote to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo just hours before former president Jacob Zuma was expected to appear.  The refusal to appear could lead to clashes between police and the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association, who vowed to protect Zuma at all costs.

Members of the uMkhonto weSizwe Military Veterans Association and African National Congress branches in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday arrived at the home of former president Jacob Zuma and said they were ready to do their “level best” to protect former president Jacob Zuma from being arrested.

Approximately 200 soldiers are being deployed to set up base outside Zuma’s homestead in northern KwaZulu-Natal, and will work in shifts. Their actions on the ground come in the wake of Zuma’s open defiance of a Constitutional Court order to appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

 

 

 

 

ANC Pleads with Zuma to appear at Zondo Commission

The state capture commission is expecting former President Jacob Zuma to present himself on Monday.  All eyes are on Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s Commission of State Capture Inquiry, as fireworks are expected should Zuma decide to show up.

Whether former president Jacob Zuma will really stay away seems to be the question, especially following the “tea party” with EFF leader Julius Malema at Nkandla.  The Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma is obliged to appear at the commission from the 15th to the 19th of February but Zuma has said that he would rather go to jail.

Meanwhile, the ANC is making a desperate last-ditch attempt to persuade Jacob Zuma to appear before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture this week, as he showed no sign yesterday of softening his defiance and backing down from his refusal to appear.  Zuma has been warned of the likelihood of arrest if he defies a summons to appear  before Zondo.  The ANC top brass fears that if Zuma should fail to appear, it would plunge the country into a constitutional crisis.

 

More Criminal Charges Against Zuma

The state capture commission under deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, said that it would be laying another criminal complaint against Jacob Zuma.

It follows Zuma’s recent comments that he would rather go to jail than obey the summons issued for him to appear before the Zondo Inquiry. The commission has hit out at the former president, saying that it was clear that he considered himself to be above both the law and the Constitution by refusing to appear at the Zondo Commission.

In a response to Zuma’s scathing attack on the state capture commission this week, the inquiry’s secretary has now been instructed to open a criminal complaint against him.

Zuma was summonsed to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo between 18 and 22 January but the former president said that he would rather go to jail.  Zuma is now scheduled to appear before the commission on 15 February and if he fails to pitch, it would constitute a breach of the summons, meaning that Zuma would be in contempt of the Constitutional Court’s order.

 

Zondo waiting for Brian Molefe

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday said that former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe was expected to testify at the state capture commission.  Hopes are that he will give his version on the currently overwhelming perspective that shows how the state-owned enterprise was biased against the Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) and for Tegeta. Raymond Zondo said this at the conclusion of former board chair Ben Ngubane’s testimony on Tuesday.

“I think you said Mr Brian Molefe adopted a hard attitude with OCM because they were taking the cream and giving it overseas and giving you all the rubbish. I said Mr Seleka will say they might not have been hard on Tegeta.”

Zondo said it looked like there were people outside Eskom who were manipulating the power utility for their benefit and it was important to hear all sides of the story.

“Mr Brian Molefe is still going to come and put his side of the story and his perspective, maybe that will change when he has done that. But at this stage, the picture seems to be that when OCM was there, Eskom through Mr Brian Molefe, didn’t even want to negotiate but when it was Tegeta, they were prepared to negotiate. Not just negotiate but agree to a significant reduction of the penalties.”

Emails from a person called ‘businessman’ who was allegedly Salim Essa and evidence about him show that he was one of the people who made decisions for both the board and the executive.

Zuma Must Face the Consequences

Outa (The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse) on Saturday said it was giving the state capture commission of inquiry time to consider former President Jacob Zuma’s walkout, warning it could take legal action against the infamous Zuma.  Zuma lost the bid to force Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to recuse himself as head of the commission of the State Capture Inquiry.

“No one can excuse themselves from the commission after being summonsed, as they must be granted permission by the commissioner. This is deemed a criminal offence and we believe the deputy chief justice needs to act decisively, so as to ensure no precedent is set for others,” said Advocate Stefanie Fick, Outa’s executive director, in a statement.

“No one is above the law, including the former president.”

The former president does not want Raymond Zondo to chair the commission, and claimed he would be biased against him because they were friends. However, Zondo maintains he is not conflicted because of his personal relations with the former president stating that they never had a close friendship.

Zuma and his legal team walked out of the commission without permission from the deputy chief justice following Zondo’s decision on the recusal. He was summoned to the inquiry following serious allegations of corruption levelled against him by several witnesses.

The former president’s walkout has been criticised with some saying his actions as disrespectful to the commission.

Outa was also dismayed saying Zondo should take action.

“South Africa has suffered enough under Jacob Zuma’s term of presidency and this commission was set up to get to the bottom of state capture, a matter to which he has been central. We are calling on the Zondo commission to take action against Jacob Zuma for contempt,” Fick said.

The state capture commission was forced to adjourn last week and it was still unclear what action Zondo would take, but Outa said he should act decisively against the former president.

“You are not above the law Mr Zuma and like everyone else involved in the gross mismanagement and misappropriation of state funds, you need to answer the questions put to you,” said Fick. “Your constant Stalingrad delay tactics will no longer be tolerated.”

Will Zondo Recuse himself?

Jacob Zuma will today find out if his application for state commission chair Raymond Zondo to recuse himself was successful.  Zuma’s lawyers argued that remarks and comments made by Raymond Zondo were insensitive and indicated that he already made a decision on the former president’s guilt.

Advocate Paul Pretorius, the evidence leader however said that Zondo must finish his work as chair of the commission.   “You have no discretion, even if you wish to out of deference to the former president, you cannot recuse yourself chair.” Pretorius argued that Zuma’s reason for demanding a recusal was baseless.

Zondo has denied that he and Jacob Zuma had a personal relationship, addind that apart from the African National Congress (ANC) and government events, they did not attend each other’s family gatherings, funerals are other social events.

WATCH: Zuma’s bid for Zondo recusal – PART 2 – EWN Footage

 

Zondo also denied that he and Zuma agreed to keep their distance in public to avoid creating wrong  perceptions.

“No such discussion took place between me and Mr Zuma when I was elevated to the bench. My elevation occurred in 1997, Mr Zuma said he understood that I wanted to draw a line in my relationship with him so as not to create the public perception that I relied on him as president to rise in my judicial career. Mr Zuma was not president in 1997, he was MEC for Economic Development in KwaZulu-Natal.”

 

Muzi Sikhakhane, Zuma’s lawyer, sajd that whether Zondo did or did not recuse himself, his comments had already created the perception that he agreed that Zuma messed up the country and that Zuma is guilty.

Raymond Zondo will deliver his decision on Tuesday morning.  The Zondo Commission has seen several high level government officials having to answer for their crimes and their contribution to the State Capture.

Squandering Taxpayers Money – Zondo Commission

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s State Capture Commission of Inquiry has been hearing unbelievable stories from several board chairpersons.  Chairpersons that were the ‘trusted’ custodians of billions of rand of taxpayers’ money.   Some blindly followed instructions from the Presidency and its intermediaries, making decisions that Zondo termed as “baffling”.

South African Airways chair, Dudu Myeni, instructed former Eskom chair Zola Tsotsi what to do at the power utility.  “The president [Jacob Zuma] came in and sat down and did more listening than anything else and Dudu spoke most of the time,” Tsotsi informed the commission. Zondo replied: “Ms Dudu Myeni  knew before you came in that the idea was that there should be an inquiry and executives should be suspended [at Eskom].”  The meeting in question was Tsotsi’s downfall and made way for Ben Ngubane to take over as the acting chairperson of Eskom.  Ngubane allegedly took instructions from an email simply called “businessman”, which he denied belonged to Salim Essa.

“If businessman sends the boards of SOEs this proposal Dr Ngubane accompanied by a letter from the minister, that means businessman is working with the minister to tell the boards what to do and that was Eskom, Transnet, and Denel – all these boards are string along by businessman as the adviser to the minister,” said Advocate Pule Seleka, the commission’s evidence leader.  Ngubane replied: “I think there is enough expertise in this country to determine the domain of any email address.”

At Transnet, there were also ‘jokes’ with former board chairperson Mafika Mkwanazi, who agreed to pay millions towards former CEO Siyabonga Gaza’s legal expenses even though the High Court had instructed Gama to pay Transnet.  Zondo said: “The question from Ms Tshepe is, ‘if we have a very good case, why are we settling?’ and then the chairperson says ‘we don’t know’.”The tragedy is that every joke had astronomical financial consequences for the taxpayer.

Eskom Pays Execs to Leave Quietly

Ben Ngubane, former Eskom board Chairman, on Tuesday said that the power utility paid suspended executive staff members to walk away, because “that’s what Eskom does”.  This was during another appearance at the State Capture Commission.   Ngubane testified about media statements and board resolutions that were drafted by known Gupta associates.  It appears that they knew that Zola Tsotsi would be fired before the board made a decision.

The former chairman claims Eskom paid three executives their full annual salaries to make way for an inquiry that the commission found was conceptualised at Jacob Puma’s residence.  Advocate Pule Seleka made his conclusion about why it was done.  “You kick them out, you pay them for staying at home doing nothing – you get Dentons to start an investigation which is actually a farce and pay them R20million six weeks into the job because by that time the board had achieved the mandate of whoever was directing it.”

While Ngubane said he wished the country would acknowledge the good work that the board did, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said a balanced view had to be taken and wrong must be highlighted to make sure it’s not repeated.

National News – South Africa on a Knife Edge

As the Zondo commission progresses in its high level corruption case, it seems that the future of South Africa may well be decided this week.  Will the country become a full blown Mafia state or a Banana Republic?  Will we emerge as a successful stable country with a strong and growing economy?

Raymond Zondo, the Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa

The Zondo commission will be approaching the court to order former president Jacob Zuma to submit to questioning in the state capture case.  As investigations progress and new evidence comes to light,  the country has begun to understand the overwhelming endemic corruption that has been running rampant in the government.  Several government officials have already been implicated in corruption and it has become clear that many are still involved even now.  The pandemic and resultant lockdown has served more than one purpose in the end – Firstly as a response to a pandemic with the capacity to destroy economy, and secondly, exposing the blatant corruption of senior officials in local and national government.

Observers mostly agree that the NPA has become very adamant that corruption must be identified and the perpetrators prosecuted.  Testimony this week has suggested that individuals were placed in a position of power as pawns, tasked with keeping the top brass informed and involved on all levels.  It has become apparent that assassination is commonplace now and any person involved runs the risk of being executed.

Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma

One of the issues that needs to be addressed immediately, is the practice to award tenders to companies that do not possess the knowledge or the manpower to do the job at hand. These companies sources other businesses to do the actual work, with the result that the state end up paying much more than it should.  Often the contractor that was responsible for the work before the tender was awarded to someone else, ends up being contracted to do exactly what they have always done.   The Free State housing project was one such case.  An exorbitant amount of money was paid without a single brick being laid.  Several officials have already been arrested.

The future of the people of South Africa hangs in the balance now.  Will the poor continue to be robbed, will government officials continue to abuse their power for personal financial gains?  An entire country waits with bated breath to see whether, for once, the people of this country will be considered as most important.

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