South Africa’s top court orders Zuma to appear before enquiry commission


South Africa’s highest court on Thursday ordered former President Jacob Zuma to appear before a commission investigating corruption allegations against him after he walked out of proceedings in November.

The commission has the power to compel witnesses to appear before it and failure to obey will be a breach of law, the Constitutional Court said in a judgement posted on Twitter.

Zuma would have to obey all summons and directives issued by the commission and did not have a right to remain silent, the ruling said.

Zuma’s lawyers did not immediately comment on the order.

Zuma was removed as president in 2018, a year before his second term was due to end, amid allegations of corruption and fraud involving the presidency and collusion between several public and private companies. He has denied any wrongdoing.

The enquiry commission was set up in the same year to investigate the allegations.

The commission, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, applied to the Constitutional Court in November to compel Zuma to appear after he walked out during a break in proceedings.

The Judicial Commission said in an emailed response to Reuters that it welcomed the decision, adding it was still studying the judgement.

The former president has been mostly uncooperative with the commission, and has unsuccessfully called for Zondo to recuse himself from the case.