Former South African president Jacob Zuma was ordered on Friday by a judicial panel to testify next month over allegations of state corruption during his nine years in office. The badgered politician is obligated to appear in court before a commission — chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo and set up in 2018 to hear testimony from ministers, ex-ministers, government officials and business executives on alleged corruption under Zuma’s rule and despite his plea that the judge was biased against him.
Zuma, who came into power in 2009, was forced to resign in February 2018 over graft scandals linked to a prominent Indian business family, the Guptas, who won lucrative contracts with state companies and were allegedly even able to choose cabinet ministers.
According to the commission’s advocate Paul Pretorius, Zuma has been directly and indirectly implicated Zuma by at least 34 witnesses thus far.
“It is important for Mr Zuma to appear before the commission as most of the corruption alleged took place when he was the country’s president,” Pretorius said.
Zuma has repeatedly refused to testify to the commission, most recently last month when he claimed he was too ill.
The subpoena came just weeks after the scandal-tainted former president hit out at the commission chairman, requesting that he recuse himself as he was partisan.