South African Court Rules Zuma Must Testify at Graft Inquiry

South Africa’s apex court ruled that former President Jacob Zuma must testify at a judicial commission of inquiry into state corruption.

Zuma “does not have the right to remain silent in proceedings of the commission,” Constitutional Court Judge Chris Jafta said in a ruling delivered Thursday in Johannesburg.

The court handed down its decision after hearing arguments in December from the commission’s legal team, who have sought to compel Zuma to appear after he walked out of an earlier hearing and refused to testify despite a summons.

The inquiry is looking into allegations of graft that occurred during Zuma’s nine-year rule, when about 500 billion rand ($32.6 billion) was purportedly stolen from state coffers.

The commission is now expected to issue a new date for Zuma to appear. Law-enforcement agencies are also investigating Zuma for a charge of contempt laid by the panel after he failed to appear before it.

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