Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has come out guns blazing against a front page article on The Star newspaper which implies that he wasn’t entirely honest about meeting with former president Jacob Zuma during the Chief Justice interviews.
The headline reads, “I never met Zuma” “I cannot remember” “I did meet Zuma” – suggesting this is what Zondo said, but he has clarified that this couldn’t be further from the truth. The article claims Zondo had previously denied having met with Zuma, but then backtracked when the Judicial Service Commission interviewed him on Friday, 4 February 2022.
EFF leader Julius Malema had grilled Zondo about the extent of his relationship with Zuma, including meetings they had together. Malema had expressed concern about Zondo being too involved with political figures.
ACJ RAYMOND ZONDO SLAMS THE STAR NEWSPAPER
In a statement issued by the State Capture Commission, which is chaired by ACJ Raymond Zondo, calls out both the journalists who wrote the article and the “analyst” cited, Dr Kuhle Zwakala, an analyst attached to the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. Zondo says Dr Zwakala spoke without checking his facts, something he says is notn acceptable given his position.
Zondo points out that in November 2020, when he chaired the State Capture Commission, he revealed having previously met with Zuma and further says the newspaper failed to get comment from him before publishing the article.
“The Acting Chief Justice wishes to point out that the journalists who wrote the article, Siphokazi Vuso and Mashudu Sadike, used a false heading to the article that had no factual basis. For reasons best known to them, they and their editor decided not to afford the Acting Chief Justice an opportunity to comment on the allegation before the article could be published”
“They also failed to conduct basic research that journalists are obliged to undertake before they publish a story. As an analyst, Dr Zwakala was also obliged to conduct basic research before he could suggest in a newspaper that the Acting Chief Justice had previously denied meeting Mr Zuma but Dr Zwakala chose to speak to the newspaper without conducting any research to establish the facts”
Professor Itumeleng Mosala, Secretary of the State Capture Commission