Former President Jacob Zuma has instructed his legal team to file a complaint at the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) against Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.
Zuma’s lawyer, Advocate Muzi Sikhakhane, revealed this on Thursday at the state capture inquiry, which Zondo chairs.
Zuma ‘excuses’ himself
Sikhakhane made the remarks shortly after Zondo dismissed Zuma’s application for Zondo to recuse himself as the inquiry’s chairperson.
He said Zuma will also “excuse” himself from the inquiry’s proceedings and review Zondo’s ruling.
Sikhakhane said, “The instruction is to review your decision that you have just made. The next is that you have become a judge in disputes that involve yourself in that you determine disputes that arise in matters that include you.
“We want to excuse ourselves from these proceedings so that we consider your ruling. In so far as the issue of you becoming a judge in your own matter [is concerned], we have been instructed to lodge a complaint against you in that regard to the JSC in respect of the issue about which you have made yourself a witness and a judge.”
Recusal bid dismissal
In his ruling, Zondo said Zuma had failed to meet “the test for a reasonable apprehension of bias” in his recusal application.
“Accordingly, I conclude that the application for my recusal falls to be dismissed and it is accordingly dismissed,” he ruled.
Zuma had raised several arguments to support his application, including a claim that he and Zondo were friends, something Zondo refuted.
Reacting to the Sikhakhane’s comments, evidence leader Advocate Paul Pistorius said the summons issued against Zuma to testify at the inquiry “still stands” and the ex-President would be acting “unlawfully” by excusing himself.
“It’s up to you, chair, to decide whether or not the proceedings will continue, or whether they will be adjourned or stayed pending the [review] application or referral of any complaint,” he said.
Zondo adjourned the proceedings for a tea break and was set to announce his decision thereafter.