Zondo dismisses Zuma’s recusal application

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has dismissed former President Jacob Zuma’s bid to have him recuse himself from presiding over evidence that implicated the erstwhile statesman.

Zuma and his attorneys argued that Zondo was biased towards him because of strained personal relationships.

Last month, Zondo said the fact that he had a child with a sister of one Zuma’s wife 25 years ago would not have any bearing on the exercise of his judicial duties.

In September, Zuma wrote to Zondo alleging that the jurist was biased due to some family links.

Zondo today dismissed Zuma’s application, which also included that the two were friends and therefore the judge would not be impartial.

Zondo reiterated that he was not friends with Zuma. He said the fact that he visited Zuma after his name was picked by Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng did not mean it was a personal visit.

He also took issue with Zuma raising the argument of bias almost three years after he was appointed to chair the commission.

“There are no sound reasons why the applicant raises the issue almost three years into the appointment. The applicant cannot be allowed to raise this issue late in the day,” he said.

Zuma’s legal representative Muzi Sikhakhane said they were taking Zondo’s decision on his recusal on review.

Sikhakhane said they would also be writing a complaint to the Judicial Services Commission, arguing that Zondo was a witness and a judge in a matter that involved him.

He added, just before the commission took a tea break, that they were excusing themselves from the proceedings.

The commission’s legal representative Paul Pistorius argued that the summons issued against Zuma stood and that excusing themselves would be in contempt of the summons.

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