South Africa’s former president, Jacob Zuma, on Monday, failed to attend an inquiry probing allegations of high-level corruption during his nine years in office.
News Central reports that Constitutional Court of South Africa had ordered Zuma, who walked out of the Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo-led inquiry in November, to appear at the hearing.
Zondo said he would announce steps the inquiry would take against Zuma, who denies any wrongdoing but has not cooperated with the so-called “state capture” inquiry, later today.
Zuma was removed from office by his governing African National Congress (ANC) in February 2018, in a move orchestrated by allies of his successor Cyril Ramaphosa.
His lawyers confirmed in a letter to the inquiry that the former president, who is now 78, would not attend this week, when he had been due to give evidence.
“The summons issued for our client to appear on Feb. 15-19 2021 is irregular,” the letter said, justifying his no-show.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has been trying to clean up the ANC’s image and restore investor confidence in Africa’s most industrialised nation since Zuma’s departure.
However, he has faced opposition from a faction in the ANC that remains loyal to his predecessor.
The allegations against Zuma include that he allowed businessmen close to him – three brothers Atul, Ajay and Rajesh Gupta – to plunder state resources and influence policy.
The Guptas deny any wrongdoing. They left South Africa after Zuma was ousted.
Zuma walked out of the inquiry in November without permission. Its officials then approached the constitutional court to make him re-appear and testify.