‘I’m not your friend’ DCJ Zondo tells Zuma as he dismisses recusal application

In handing down his ruling on the matter on Thursday morning, Zondo said
that there were no grounds to support Zuma’s claims that the two men
were friends.

“In light of the fact that the applicant does not dispute most of the
facts set out in paragraph 7 of my statement, I’m of the opinion that of
the undisputed facts, there was not the kind of relationship between
myself and the applicant such as would disqualify me from chairing this
commission nor is it a proper ground for me to recuse myself.”

Zuma had filed an application for Zondo to step aside, claiming he’d
already decided that the former president was guilty.
Zondo took the commission through the historical context of the inquiry,
explaining how it was set up, and by who, based on the findings of the
Public Protector’s report.

He also detailed the process of getting Zuma to appear before the
commission up until this point.
Zondo said that there was no merit to Zuma’s claims that the commission
has been biased against him based on comments made by Zondo during some
of the evidence by witnesses who’d implicated the former president in
state capture.

“There is no difficulty in me seeking clarification from witnesses and
testing their evidence. What is important is to strike the right
balance. I’m of the view that that balance has been correctly struck in
regard to most, if not all, the comments about which the applicant

Meanwhile, Zuma will lodge a complaint with the Judicial Service
Commission regarding Deputy Chief Justice handling of the application to
have him recused as chairperson of the state capture inquiry.

Zuma’s lawyer, Muzi Sikhakhane, made the announcement just moments after
Zondo dismissed the former president’s application for recusal on the
grounds that Zuma failed to meet the test for a reasonable apprehension
of bias.
Sikhakhane said that Zondo had become a witness and a judge in the

“You have become a judge in the dispute that involves yourself in that
you determine disputes that arise in mater that include you. And in so
far as you becoming a judge in your own matter, which on its own is a
grounds that Mr Zuma mentioned, I want to say that we’ve also been
instructed to lodge a complaint about you in regard to the Judicial
Service Commission in respect of the issue about which you’ve made
yourself a witness and a judge.”

He added that Zuma would review Zondo’s decision to dismiss his

Image (Standing his ground. DCJ Raymond Zondo, Commission Chair has
dismissed ex-Pres Zuma’s application for recusal).

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