Zuma birthday

Photo: GCIS / Flickr

If Jacob Zuma skips the State Capture Inquiry, will he be arrested?

Jacob Zuma has run out of hiding places. He must now face the State Capture Inquiry, because another ‘disappearing act’ will have serious consequences.

Zuma birthday

Photo: GCIS / Flickr

Jacob Zuma is set to be marched back to the State Capture Inquiry in due course, following a landmark ruling in the Constitutional Court. Not only did the bench compel the former president to face Raymond Zondo’s Commission, but Justice Jafta also told Msholozi he would not be granted the right to remain silent.

Will Jacob Zuma appear at the State Capture Inquiry?

With no avenues left to run down, the hotly anticipated reunion between Zondo and Zuma can commence. The 78-year-old has previously threatened to abscond from the State Capture Inquiry, regardless of what the law says, but that could land him in some very serious trouble – and Glynnis Breytenbach has reminded law enforcement officers of the duties.

The DA Shadow Minister for Justice and Correctional Services is demanding the arrest of Jacob Zuma, if he fails to show up when summoned by the DCJ. Indeed, uBaba would be in breach of a long-standing South African law should he skip the Commission again – and could possibly be looking at jail time:

“Any person summoned to attend and give evidence before a Commission who fails to attend at the time and the place specified in the summons… shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to a fine or even imprisonment that does not exceed six months. Both punishments can be imposed.”

Section 6 of The Commissions Act

Zondo showdown looms for JZ

Whether an arrest warrant for Zuma would actually be enforced or not remains to be seen – a conditional one was issued for him last year, after he dodged his own corruption trial. Breytenbach, meanwhile, hopes Zuma will ‘take his medicine’, stating that she is looking forward to hearing the ‘stomach-churning’ testimony that the former head of state is sitting on:

“The game is now over for Zuma. Should he fail to appear for his testimony, he must be arrested. He’s employed devious strategies for more than a decade to evade accountability and ‘his day in court’. He has employed the same strategy to evade testifying in the case of capturing the state, despite him on many occasions demanding that his name be cleared.”

“This application was a last, desperate attempt to avoid public accountability and the apex court has delivered the final word. Zuma’s day has indeed now arrived and there is no corner left in which he can cower… We look forward to hearing his long overdue testimony in front of judge Raymond Zondo. It will no doubt be stomach-turning and breathtakingly evil.”

“The Commission simply could not have concluded its work without testimony from Zuma. It is patently obvious to all by now that Zuma and his crooked cronies, the Guptas, are the main masterminds behind state capture. His one last resort would be to refuse to incriminate himself – but that sticky avenue would tell the full story in itself.”

Glynnis Breytenbach