‘You may frighten witnesses’: Zuma lawyers blast Zondo for outbursts

The recusal bid launched by Jacob Zuma and his legal team was lodged at the State Capture Inquiry on Monday morning, and they have picked their line of attack forensically. After Raymond Zondo issued a statement on the matter, Musi Sikhakhane went into bat for Msholozi – and targeted the DCJ for previous ‘outbursts’.

Zuma lawyers slam ’emotional’ Zondo

Initially, Zondo rejected Zuma’s claims that the pair have ever been ‘friends’. He refuted several allegations from uBaba, but Sikhakhane remained adamant that the Deputy Chief Justice has not remained impartial during his time as the State Capture Inquiry’s leader. It’s claimed that Raymond Zondo has a particular bias against Jacob Zuma.

Sikhakhane’s ‘Hail Mary’ argument has targeted Zondo for snapping at certain witnesses in recent weeks. Comically bad testimony from former SAA executives saw the DCJ lose his patience several times. Zuma’s advocate states that judges, no matter what is put in front of them, should not be expressing their outrage so openly.

Recusal bid against Raymond Zondo: What Musi Sikhakhane has argued:

“We understand judges must listen to frustrating things. The outrage may even be justified. Some of the things you’ve been told are indeed outrageous. But, like a judge who has to listen to cases involving the rape of a two-year-old, what are you meant to do? The forum does not matter, and your conduct may frighten future witnesses who attend.”

“I honestly suggest that there have been times where, sitting watching, I believed you have crossed the line when it comes to expressing your outrage as a presiding official. A directly implicated person is entitled to an impartial Commission. But my client is singled out and subjected to press statements that make Zuma fear the platform.”

Musi Sikhakhane

  • The recusal case continues to be heard on Monday.