The South African Communist Party (SACP) has urged former president Jacob Zuma to cooperate with the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture which is looking into suspected widespread corruption during his nine-year rule that ended in February 2018.Speaking after his party’s central committee meeting on Sunday, SACP secretary general Blade Nzimande denounced all those attempting to undermine the credibility of the inquiry being chaired by the country’s Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, a Zuma appointee before he left office.
Nzimande, whose party is in governing alliance with the African National Congress, expressed concerned over Zuma’s reluctance to attend the commission’s hearings after he walked out of a hearing on 19 November and his lawyers informed the inquiry that their client would not return to the hearings.
Zuma said he felt Zondo was biased against him, and the judge’s failure to recuse himself from presiding over his testimony was enough to force the former president to stay away from attending the hearings.
“Everyone, including President Zuma, is being urged by ourselves, as the SACP, and in terms of the decisions made by the alliance, to cooperate with the Zondo Commission,” Nzimande said.
He said the SACP “denounced all those who are trying to discredit the Zondo Commission that we must not do this.”
“We are urging everyone, irrespective of your current or former position or station in life, to cooperate with the Commission. That is our position,” Nzimande said as he briefed media at the end of a two-day Central Committee meeting.
He said his party had prioritised the fight against state capture in its 2021 centenary programme of action, adding that the phenomenon had dearly cost the country and many black executives.
The State Capture Commission wants Zuma to respond to allegations made against him by more than 30 witnesses – including former ministers, deputy ministers, former directors-general, Member of Parliament, and former executives of several State-Owned Enterprises.