The Zondo commission of inquiry is in the process of scheduling new dates on which former president Jacob Zuma will appear before it.
This is after Zuma “took ill” and could not honour last week’s scheduled appearance.
Commission spokesperson Mbuyiselo Stemela confirmed to City Press that “the chairperson [of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo] is in the process of fixing other dates for the former president’s further appearance before the commission.”
The DA was up in arms over the delay – its shadow minister for justice and correctional services, Glynnis Breytenbach, questioned the circumstances leading up to Zuma’s unavailability and called on Zondo to use the commission’s subpoena powers to force him to appear before it.
Breytenbach confirmed that she had written to Zondo but was yet to receive an acknowledgement of receipt from him.
Stemela, however, confirmed that “with regards to DA request in writing, the commission has received correspondence by the DA that was addressed to the chairperson of the commission”.
City Press understands that the DA is contending that Zuma is wasting time regardless of the fact that the Jacob Zuma Foundation last week confirmed that he had been admitted to a Durban hospital for an unknown ailment.
The Zondo commission told City Press that despite the utterances of the foundation, Zuma “did not submit any proof to the commission showing that he had indeed been hospitalised”.
Zuma was set to continue his counter submissions after he was repeatedly implicated at the commission by numerous witnesses who had testified against him.
His counter submissions started in July, but after numerous disagreements between the commission’s legal team and those representing Zuma, proceedings came to an abrupt halt.
The major bone of contention was that the commission’s legal team was unwilling to share the exact questions Zuma would be asked.
A compromise was reached when the commission was instructed by Zondo to share a broad document containing the areas of interest around which Zuma would be questioned.
According to the document, Zuma would be asked to respond to allegations put forward by Advocate Thabani Masuku, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, former minister of health and of public enterprises Barbara Hogan, former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, Mahlodi Sam Muofhe, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula and former Bosasa CEO Angelo Agrizzi during their testimonies before the commission.
Of particular interest to the inquiry was Zuma’s Gupta family connections, which allegedly led to the establishment of the New Age newspaper and the ANN 7 television news channel.
The removal of Mentor as chair of the parliamentary portfolio committee of public enterprises, which was done via the Cabinet reshuffle at the end of October 2010, will form part of the areas of interest.