Tag Archives: Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s ex leader, Zuma could bag jail.

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Zondo dismissed Zuma’s argument, saying the apex court’s decision was supreme and that he would seek to have him charged with contempt of court.

The chair of a South African judicial panel investigating mass state corruption said Monday he would seek jail time for embattled former president Jacob Zuma over contempt of court after he again failed to appear before the commission.

The 79-year-old Zuma, who has snubbed previous summonses by the commission, refused to comply with a Constitutional Court order for him to appear on Monday before the panel probing graft during his nine-year tenure.

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The commission’s chair, deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, vowed to seek to have Zuma charged with contempt of court.

“The commission will approach the Constitutional Court and ask it to impose a term of imprisonment on Mr Zuma if it finds that he is guilty of contempt of court,” Zondo said.

[file] Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears at the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Durban on April 6, 2018, during for a brief preliminary hearing on corruption charges linked to a multi-billion dollar 1990s arms deal.

The court in January ruled that Zuma had no right to remain silent during the proceedings.

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The ex-president accused the commission of bias and demanded that Zondo recuse himself.

In a letter on Monday, Zuma’s lawyers said their client “would not be appearing before the commission” which had set aside February 15 to 19 for his testimony.

Zuma, who had approached the High Court to examine Zondo’s refusal to step aside, argued that appearing before Zondo would “undermine and invalidate the review application”.

Zondo dismissed Zuma’s argument, saying the apex court’s decision was supreme and that he would seek to have him charged with contempt of court.

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‘Right to silence’
In the two-page “matter of courtesy” letter, Zuma’s lawyers concluded that his refusal to testify should not be “construed to suggest any defiance of a legal process.”

But the commission’s advocate Paul Pretorius said it was in the public interest for Zuma to testify because he was president at the time of the alleged state corruption.

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Zuma has been implicated in evidence from some 40 witnesses, to which he is expected to respond.

“Mr Zuma, perhaps more than anyone else is able to assist the commission in understanding what happened in the period under review,” Pretorius said.

“Its difficult to understand why he would need to rely on a right to silence.”

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Zuma’s refusal came a day after the ruling African National Congress stressed the need for all its members to cooperate with the commission.

“To allow anything else would lead to anarchy and open the floodgates easily for counter-revolution,” the ANC said in a statement on Sunday.

Meanwhile, local media showed images of dozens of people, some wearing military regalia and ANC party gear, staging a vigil in support of Zuma outside his rural homestead in Nkandla in southern Kwa-Zulu Natal province

The group chanted and performed the “toyi-toyi” dance, a protest move synonymous with the struggle against apartheid.

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Zuma, who came to power in 2009, was forced to resign in 2018 over graft scandals involving an Indian business family, the Guptas, who won lucrative contracts with state companies and were allegedly even able to choose cabinet ministers.

He set up the commission shortly before his ouster and only testified before it once in July 2019, but staged a walkout days later.

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#Newsworthy

Jacob Zuma vows never to appear before anti-graft panel.

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The commission “can expect no further cooperation from me in any of their processes going forward,” Zuma said in a statement.

South Africa’s beleaguered ex-president Jacob Zuma vowed Monday to not appear before a judicial panel probing corruption during his nine-year tenure, defying a court order compelling him to testify.

Zuma, 78, has played cat-and-mouse with the commission since it was set up in 2018 to investigate looting of state coffers during his rule.

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He accuses the commission of bias and has demanded that its chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, recuse himself from the anti-graft inquiry.

However, Zondo has dismissed the calls, saying Zuma failed to make a case that he was being unfair.

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Zuma, while highlighting his anti-apartheid exploits, said he was ready for “the law to take its course” and did not fear being arrested, convicted or incarcerated.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on July 15, 2019 Former South African president Jacob Zuma appears before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg, where he faces tough questioning over allegations that he oversaw systematic looting of state funds while in power. – South Africa’s Constitutional Court on January 28, 2021, ordered former South African President Jacob Zuma to testify before the commission of enquiry into suspicions of widespread corruption during his presidency. (Photo by WIKUS DE WET / POOL / AFP)

“The wrath visited upon me as an individual knows no bounds,” said Zuma, adding that his children and associates had also been “targeted and harassed” as their bank accounts were closed.

South Africa’s top court on Thursday ordered him to appear before the Zondo commission, ruling that he had no right to remain silent during the proceedings.

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“It is clear that the laws of this country are politicised even at the highest court in land,” Zuma said.

But Zuma argued that court decision rendered him completely defenceless.

He said he “never imagined that there would come a time when a democratic government in South Africa… would behave exactly like the apartheid government in creating legal processes designed to target specific individuals in society”.

Zuma, who came to power in 2009, was forced to resign in 2018 over graft scandals involving an Indian business family, the Guptas — who won lucrative contracts with state companies and were allegedly even able to choose cabinet ministers.

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He set up the commission shortly before his ouster and only testified before it once in July 2019, but staged a walkout days later.

Since then, Zuma has not testified again, citing health concerns or preparation for another corruption case related to a 1990s arms deal which will resume this month.

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#Newsworthy

[South Africa] Jacob Zuma snubs anti-graft panel again.

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The chief justice had to interrupt hearings on Friday after he was told one of his close aides had contracted coronavirus, forcing him to self-isolate.

South Africa’s ex-president Jacob Zuma will not appear before a judicial panel probing alleged graft during his time in office, his lawyer said Friday, despite a court application seeking to compel him to testify.

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Zuma, 78, has played cat-and-mouse with the commission since it was set up in 2018 to investigate looting of state coffers during his nine-year tenure.

The former leader has only testified to the panel once, in July 2019, but pulled out after a few days, saying he was being treated as an “accused” rather than as a witness.

He reappeared briefly before the commission in November to demand that the its chair, deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, recuse himself.

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The exasperated panellists issued a fresh summons starting on January 18 and filed an urgent Constitutional Court application to oblige him to comply.

But Zuma’s lawyer Eric Mabuza on Friday told AFP the ex-president would not be appearing next week.

Former President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma

In a WhatsApp message, Mabuza explained that his client was waiting for the Constitutional Court to respond to the commission’s application.

He is also holding out for the outcome of an application to set aside Zondo’s refusal to recuse himself.

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“We have informed the commission that President Zuma will not be appearing on Monday,” Mabuza confirmed.

Zondo has not yet reacted to the announcement, which was widely expected.

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“Commission cannot continue today,” the judicial panel tweeted shortly after its lunch break. “DCJ (Zondo) says he has just received news that somebody who works very close to him has tested positive for Covid-19.”

It was not immediately clear whether this would impact next week’s proceedings.

Zuma, who became president in 2009, was forced to resign in 2018 over graft scandals centred around an Indian business family, the Guptas — who won lucrative contracts with state companies and were allegedly even able to choose cabinet ministers.

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He was succeeded by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has vowed to confront the “scourge” of corruption.

The so-called state capture commission was established to hear testimony from ministers, ex-ministers, government officials and business executives on alleged corruption under Zuma’s tenure.

So far at least 30 witnesses have directly and indirectly implicated the former leader.

In the latest summons, he had been called to testify from January 18 to 22 and again from February 15 to 19.

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Zuma is also facing trial for allegedly receiving bribes in a multi-billion rand arms deal in 1999, when he was deputy president.

That trial is now scheduled to resume in February after postponements.

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#Newsworthy

Jacob Zuma’s corruption trial postponed to next year February

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Neither Zuma nor a representative from Thales were present in the dock.

The corruption trial of South Africa’s embattled ex-president Jacob Zuma and French arms manufacturer Thales, which was due to resume this week, has been postponed to February, the high court ordered Tuesday.

Zuma, in power from 2009 to 2018, faces 16 charges of fraud, graft and racketeering relating to the purchase of fighter jets, patrol boats and military equipment.

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He allegedly took bribes of four million rand ($220,000 / 200,000 euros) over a $3.4-billion arms deal with French aerospace and defence giant Thales in 1999, when he was deputy president.

Judge Nompulelo Radebe of the Pietermaritzburg high court said, “the matter is postponed provisionally to 23 February 2021 for the resolution of… outstanding pre-trial management issues.”

Radebe said the delay would allow time for both the defence and prosecutors to request further details in the matter, including the trial letter.

Clarity on the restrictions on international travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic will also be sought, as some witnesses live abroad.

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Zuma was forced to step down in 2018 by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) after a nine-year reign marked by corruption allegations and dwindling popularity.

His successor Cyril Ramaphosa made the fight against graft the cornerstone of his presidency.

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#Newsworthy

South Africa experience another recession in 2020 after 2018

it’s the third


South Africa slipped into recession in the final three months of 2019, the country’s statistics bureau said on Tuesday, the second contraction to hit the economy in as many years.

It is the third recession the continent’s most industrialised economy has suffered since the end of apartheid in 1994, but the second since Cyril Ramaphosa came to power in 2018.

The weak performance piles pressure on Ramaphosa’s administration which has been struggling to keep his election pledge to revive economic activity in one of Africa’s powerhouses.


Instead, South Africa remains dogged by high and rising debt, low growth and soaring unemployment.

Gross domestic product fell by 1.4 percent in the fourth quarter, after dropping by 0.8 percent in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said.


This took growth in Africa’s most industrialised country for all of 2019 to just 0.2 percent, its lowest reading since the global financial crisis in 2009.

Ramaphosa’s government will barely avoid another bout of economic tumult with the economy forecast to only grow 0.9 percent this year.


Weak agriculture output and transport were the main drags on growth in the last quarter, StatsSA said, followed by construction, mining and manufacturing, which outweighed positive contributions from finance and government spending.

Seven of the nation’s 10 economic sectors contracted in the fourth quarter, StatsSA said.


“Finance, mining and personal services managed to keep their heads above water, but this was not enough to prevent the economy from sliding into its third recession since 1994,” it remarked.

Drought in parts of the country and floods in others hurt agriculture and power station output, leading to disruptions in electricity, gas and water supplies.


– Most sectors contracted –

Recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.


South Africa previously went into recession in 2008/2009 — which was prompted by the global financial crisis — and then again in 2018.

Growth has been stunted by, among other issues, rolling electricity blackouts that have cost the country hundreds of millions of dollars in lost output.


Eskom, which supplies 95 percent of South Africa’s electricity, has been crippled by cash shortages and poorly designed coal-fired power stations, as well as decades of mismanagement and alleged corruption under former national president Jacob Zuma.

The drop in the last quarter surprised market watchers.


“While a contraction was largely expected, the decline exceeded market expectations, demonstrating how extensively the electricity crisis in SA continues to plague the economic prospects of the country,” market pundit group, Peregrine Treasury Solutions said in a note.

The government has repeatedly bailed out Eskom and other state-owned enterprises including the national carrier South African Airways.

“Freeing the economy from the dead-weight of a failing state will provide South Africa’s struggling economy with the antidote needed to arrest the terminal decline and put the country on a sustainable path of economic growth,” said Geordin Hill-Lewis, a lawmaker with the largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance.

The International Monetary Fund last year urged more “decisive” reforms to boost private investment in South Africa, forecasting economic growth to remain sluggish for a sixth consecutive year in 2020.


#Newsworthy…

Just in – Gov. Emeka Ihedioha renamed Jacob Zuma Street.


A street named after former South African leader Jacob Zuma, has been renamed in Imo State.

Jacob Zuma Road in the capital of Owerri will now be known as Chief Mbazuluike Amaechi road. Chief Amaechi is a First Republic parliamentarian and minister. Governor Emeka Ihedioha announced the rechristening today at an occasion to mark Amaechi’s 90th birthday.


The naming of the dual carriage way after the former South African president by former Gov. Rochas Okorocha attracted public condemnation against the administration. Ihedioha described Amaechi as an icon, whose contributions to nation building should not be ignored.

“Dr Amaechi is an icon, one of the founding fathers of the nation, whose contributions to nationhood should not be overlooked.

Governor Emeka Ihedioha


“Amaechi remains an inspiration, who stood and defended those principles that remain valuable to nation building,” the statement further read.

Amaechi, a native of Ukpor in Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra, was a member of the House of Representatives in 1959.


#Newsworthy…