© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Former South African President Zuma will appear before the commission of inquiry into state corruption
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – South Africa’s highest court on Thursday ordered former President Jacob Zuma to appear before a commission investigating corruption allegations against him after he dropped proceedings in November. The commission has the power to compel witnesses to appear before it and failure to obey will be a violation of the law, the Constitutional Court said in a ruling posted on Twitter. Zuma would have to obey all summons and directives issued by the commission and had no right to remain silent, according to the ruling. Zuma’s attorneys did not immediately comment on the order. Zuma was removed as president in 2018, a year before his second term ended, amid allegations of corruption and fraud involving the presidency and collusion between various public and private companies. He denied doing anything wrong. The commission of inquiry was created the same year to investigate the complaints. The commission, led by Supreme Court Vice President Raymond Zondo, petitioned the Constitutional Court in November to force Zuma to appear after he stepped down during a lull in the process. The Judicial Commission said in an emailed response to Reuters that it welcomed the decision and added that it was still studying the ruling. The former president has mostly not cooperated with the commission and has unsuccessfully asked Zondo to abstain from the case.