The former president left the hearing after the commission chairman dismissed his application for his recusal.
DEPUTY Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has ordered Professor Itumeleng Mosala, the secretary of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, to initiate criminal action against former president Jacob Zuma for failing to comply and testify before the commission on Thursday.
Zondo made the ruling on Monday after Zuma and his legal counsel chose to leave the hearing without obtaining Zondo’s permission.
Zuma left the hearing after Zondo dismissed his application for his recusal saying the former president had failed the test of a reasonable apprehension of bias against him.
Zuma left the building and never returned after the tea break – a decision which irked Zondo.
“It was not up to him to excuse himself. His conduct may send a message to all other witnesses, who may be not comfortable to testify before commission, to think it is the right thing to do to excuse themselves. They may come and go as they please. This commission will not be able to operate,” Zondo said on Monday.
He said Zuma’s conduct was likely to have a negative impact on the integrity of the commission, the rule of law and public accountability.
“He had an obligation to account for events during his presidency. The rule of law and public accountability are values that are fundamental to our constitution. The constitution provides that all of us are equal before the law,” Justice Zondo insisted.
He ordered Mosala to open a criminal case against Zuma and to also provide the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with all the materials and footage of events prior to Zuma snubbing the commission.
Zondo said he would issue new dates for Zuma to appear before the commission. He said Mosala will also be serving Zuma with new summonses. Zondo has also asked Mosala to make an urgent application before the Constitutional Court to compel Zuma to answer all questions related to his alleged involvement in state capture.