Former president Jacob Zuma has lashed out at the State
Capture Commission for allegedly targeting his children as part of the
investigation against Zuma.
Former president Jacob Zuma has lashed out at the State Capture Commission for allegedly targeting his children as part of the investigation against Zuma.
It follows a report in the Sunday Times that the Commission subpoenaed banks to release the statements of at least 20 accounts linked to the Zuma family.
These include the account of a TV production company which belongs to one of Zuma’s daughters, Gugulethu Zuma-Ncube.
The former president released a statement on Friday, in which he has harsh words for the Commission, saying he sees the latest move as a “declaration of war”.
“My family and I have not known peace under apartheid and yet we remain tagged in post-apartheid South Africa. I have tolerated intense harassment and relentless vilification for 25 years. My opponents have now decided to target my children and this is where I draw the line and state that this harassment of my children is a declaration of war. The system has crossed the line and I will fight it with all I have,” reads the statement.
Zuma says he has subjected himself to the legal system despite his reservation.
However, he makes it clear he has no respect left for the State Capture Commission and the process it is following.
“I have subjected myself to the biased legal system and despite my reservation have respected its crooked ways and political and selective prosecution. However, targeting my children is a despicable act conducted by those in power who do this on behalf of the old apartheid system that seems to have returned to the driving seat and is in control of many of our organs of state and law enforcement institutions.”
Zuma then goes further and accuses the Commission of wanting to parade his children in public and use them as scapegoats.
“In a country that subscribes to the rule of law, it should not be the case that our children and family members are tagged and paraded in this fashion. This selective morality, which protects some from prosecution while tagging others as scapegoats is inconsistent with our declared culture of human rights and equality before the law.”
A summons has been issued for Zuma to complete his testimony in front of the Commission from the 16th of November.
The application was brought by the commission's legal head, advocate Paul Pretorius. This comes after Zuma's failure to appear in September when he stated that he was ill. His lawyers have further sent a letter to the commission demanding that Zondo will have to recuse himself before Zuma can appear.
However, he has made it clear that he will not return as long as Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is the Chair of the Commission.
Zuma’s legal team has argued that Zondo is biased towards Zuma and is targeting the former president.
They demand that Zondo recuses himself.
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo granted the commission permission to summon Zuma to appear from 16 to 20 November. "He would have to prove that the Deputy Chief Justice is biased against him and is not objective for the court to set aside the summons," said Roux ALSO READ: Makhura fires Bandile Masuku as Health MEC He said Zondo has the power to apply for a warrant of arrest to force Zuma to appear though.
In his statement, Zuma now accuses the Commission of acting like barbarians.
“This harassment of even the children of political opponents is the height of barbarism. The marking of families and associates of those perceived to be enemies of the new order as “politically exposed people” is a shameful conspiracy between government and financial institutions. Families are harassed in this fashion in order to beat them to submission. This is done by people purporting to be democrats and seemingly pursuing clean government. This harassment of family members of political opponents is one of the worst forms of authoritarianism and a violation of the Constitution about which our leaders and banks boast to the entire world.”
According to the Sunday Times report, banks have complied with the subpoenas to supply the bank accounts that date as far back as 2016.
Zuma also slams the banks, saying their conduct is worse than during apartheid.
“It is disappointing that the banks conspire in this way with unlawful investigations. Not even the apartheid regime conspired with banks to affect private accounts of children of those pursued by the state.”
Zuma also pleads with law enforcement agencies, the media, the banks and the Commission’s investigators to leave his children alone and not use them as a pawn to punish the former president.
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