Friday, 29 January 2021 21:33

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

The state capture commission has welcomed a Constitutional Court ruling that former president Jacob Zuma must appear before the commission.

ConCourt ordered Zuma to abide by a summons and appear to give evidence before the commission.

The unanimous decision of the court means that should Zuma not appear on February 15, as per his summons, and without sufficient cause, he would not only be in breach of the Commissions Act but would be in breach of an order of the Constitutional Court.

In a statement on Friday, the commission said it believes the judgment upholds the rule of the law and emphasises that no-one is above the law.

"It is also of great importance that the court has made it clear in proceedings of the commission (that) a witness has no right to remain silent and has emphasised that a witness who invokes the privilege against self-incrimination must demonstrate how an answer to a question asked would breach the privilege and that there are sufficient grounds that, in answering a question, the witness will incriminate himself or herself in the commission of a specified crime," the statement read.

It said it would take the necessary steps to get the judgment and order served on Zuma.

Meanwhile Zuma has distanced himself from reports making the rounds on social media that he was heading to Russia for medical treatment next week.

The Jacob Zuma Foundation and family wishes to distance itself from the person calling him/herself a spokesperson. We wish to state that it’s mischievous and disrespectful to South Africans,” said family spokesperson Edward Muziwoxolo Zuma, who is Zuma’s eldest son.

The family was responding to reports that the former president would be leaving to seek medical attention in Moscow on February 1 and returning to SA at the end of March.

The report, labelled as false by Zuma jnr, quoted a councillor, Ally Mosina, who had apparently been appointed the "new spokesperson for the Jacob Zuma Foundation".

In the report, Mosina dismissed the insinuation that Zuma was avoiding appearing before the state capture commission into state capture after the Constitutional Court ruling that compelled him to do so.

"The former president, as the father of radical economic transformation, has nothing to hide. However, his health comes first - especially now at his age," said Mosina.

The report further states that, "We are awaiting response and the reaction of the commission." 

The court further declared that Zuma does not have the right to remain silent before the commission, but witnesses do have the privilege against self-incrimination.