Confirmed: Zuma AVOIDS State Capture Inquiry – so will he be arrested?

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It’s official: Jacob Zuma has put himself into Level 5 of lockdown, and decided to ‘stay at home’ on Monday. The former president and his lawyers had warned that JZ would not be attending the State Capture Inquiry this week, despite being legally compelled to do so. Now the defiance is official, can the 78-year-old be arrested?

Why won’t Jacob Zuma go to the State Capture Inquiry?

Make no mistake, Jacob Zuma is committing an arrestable offence here. A long-standing piece of South African law – covered under the Commissions Act – says that anyone summoned to a public inquiry is required to attend on the dates set out by Commission organisers. A fine, or even a six-month stretch in jail, can also be dished out as punishments.

However, Zuma’s legal team is still adamant that uBaba is not breaking the law with this no-show. They argue that the recent Constitutional Court decision, which confirmed Msholozi has no choice but to pitch-up for his Zondo showdown, actually has ‘another order’ which protects their client. The counsel also raised issues with their unresolved recusal bid.

Msholozi lawyers explain his planned absence:

“We inform the Commission that our client will not be appearing from 15 – 19 February. The review application for Raymond Zondo to recuse himself from the State Capture Inquiry is yet to be handled. Furthermore, the summons compelling Jacob Zuma to appear is not in line with the fourth-order of the Constitutional Court verdict, handed down on 28 January.”

“Appearing before DCJ Zondo under these circumstances would undermine and invalidate our review application for recusal. We also place on record that this matter was not put before ConCourt. The above should not be construed to suggest the defiance of any legal process – and all our client’s rights are reserved.”

Jacob Zuma’s lawyer letter

Will Jacob Zuma be arrested on Monday 15 February

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Now, we enter a waiting phase. Those of us expecting to see a SAPS team swarm Nkandla on Monday may be left disappointed. Should Jacob Zuma be arrested for this criminal offence, Raymond Zondo will have to officially make a criminal complaint. The NPA is also set to file the correct paperwork before they bust an ex-head of state.

Jacob Zuma’s status does make this situation incredibly delicate – and the powder-keg of unpredictability has been shaken further, by the appearance of MKMVA personal at the Nkandla homestead. Around 250 army veterans have arrived in rural KZN to defend Zuma from arrest. However, any attempt to cuff him could be delayed by a few days, if not weeks.

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