By Lehlohonolo Lehana.
Former president Jacob Zuma has maintained his defiance and that of his family members against appearing before the state capture inquiry.
Through his legal team, Zuma again said he would not appear before the inquiry chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo. This despite a formal notice from the commission stating he was expected to appear at 10am.
"We formally inform the commission, as a matter of courtesy, that our client will not be appearing before the commission on February 15-19 2021," said the Zuma's legal team.
"The summons issued for our client to appear on February 15-19 is irregular and not in line with the fourth order of the Constitutional Court judgement of January 28 2021."
The letter, written by Mabuza Attorneys and directed to the commission, suggests Zuma’s decision is based on historical, personal and family relations with judge Zondo, which were previously stated.
"The commission is aware the review application which [former] president Zuma has instituted to set aside the refusal by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo to recuse himself from hearing matters concerning him and his family is yet to be determined by the court."
Appearing before DCJ Zondo, in the circumstances, would undermine and invalidate the review application over his decision not to recuse himself.
"We also place on record that the review application was not before the Constitutional Court and, accordingly, was not considered ,determined and or adjudicated by that court."
Zuma’s decision has been heavily criticised and has caused division within the ANC, with calls for him to be removed as a party member.
His lawyers said his decision was by no means defiance of the law.
"We reiterate that the above should not be construed to suggest any defiance of any legal process."
Mabuza wrote to Zondo just hours before Zuma was expected to appear.