/ 2 March 2022

Zondo report not worth the paper it is written on, says Zuma

Safrica Politics Court Crime Zuma
The former president Jacob Zuma (Rogan Ward/AFP)

Former president Jacob Zuma says the findings of the Zondo Commission’s third report that he had “accepted gratification” from Bosasa in return for his influence are “not even worth the paper they are written on.”

Zondo’s third report containing findings on Zuma, members of his cabinet and senior ANC officials with regard to bribes from Bosasa, which had contracts with a number of government departments, was handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa and made public late on Tuesday. 

In it, Zondo said that Zuma should be investigated for violations of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act because there were “reasonable grounds”  to suspect that the former president had broken it, as well as the Executive Ethics Code, the Constitution and other laws.

In a statement, Mzwanele Manyi, spokesperson for the Jacob G Zuma Foundation, said that it was “well known” that Zuma had been “denied the opportunity of a neutral platform to put his side of the story in the so-called Zondo commission.”

Manyi said Zuma’s application for a review and setting aside of Zondo’s refusal to recuse himself from hearing the former president’s evidence “despite the relationship between” them was “still pending” before the courts.

Zuma was jailed for 15 months for contempt for refusing to return to the commission to complete his evidence after walking out, but was released soon after on medical parole. 

This incarceration sparked the riots last July in KwaZulu-Natal and parts of Gauteng in which more than 300 people were killed.

Manyi said Zuma “rejects any purported ‘findings’ by Judge Zondo which were made without affording him the most basic human rights to be heard”.

Zuma, he said, “believes that justice must be seen to be done” and would consult his legal team “as to the appropriate course of action to be taken following these developments”.

In the report, Zondo said Zuma had “placed himself in a conflict of interest situation” by accepting gratuities from Bosasa (renamed African Global Operations), which had “clearly provided inducements” aimed at “gaining influence over him”.

Zondo said in the report that Zuma had failed to provide evidence to show that he had a legal right or “excuse”’ for receiving the “gratification.”

“Indeed he did not testify at all,” Zondo wrote.