Jacob Zuma has asked Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo to withdraw as chairman of the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture.
Zuma’s lawyer, Eric Mabuza, says in the letter that the former president’s legal team will soon bring an application for Zondo to withdraw from the commission because he already has a “biased attitude towards Zuma and therefore can no longer be impartial.”
Zuma believes Zondo’s prejudice against him stems from the fact that they have “historical personal, family and professional ties that must be revealed in public.” Zuma will do so in his application.
The Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Mhlanganyelwa Zuma Foundation launched a scathing attack on the judge, saying he was disappointed in Zondo’s “obsession with Pres. Jacob Zuma”.
Zuma’s foundation said Zondo’s attack on the former president and his lawyers last week was “completely unjustified and biased.”
In the letter Mabuza sent to Zondo on Monday, he says his client takes note that Zondo is focusing on Zuma and targeting him.
Mabuza says this has been clearly the approach since the commission began its work.
He says Zondo also deemed Zuma necessary at two other media conferences last year to address the former president through the media.
Mabuza says last week’s media conference took place without the former president’s legal team in any way indicating he would not agree to Zondo’s instructions to appear before him.
“It was an unnecessary and premature public scrubbing that we believe falls outside the realm of legal proceedings and legal courtesy.”
He says Zuma’s legal team does not see it as appropriate to react to Zondo’s remarks towards them.