POLITICS

Surprise, Surprise: Zuma To Go To Court Over State Of Capture Report

President Jacob Zuma disagrees with the public protector, who ordered a judicial commission of inquiry into state capture.

25/11/2016 16:53 SAST | Updated 25/11/2016 18:03 SAST
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Thuli Madonsela during the release of the public protector's report into state capture. President Jacob Zuma will now challenge the remedial action contained in the report in the High Court.

President Jacob Zuma will take the public protector's report on state capture on judicial review, which effectively means fighting it out in court.

The Presidency said in a statement that he has considered the report and it's remedial action and sought legal advice on the matter. "The legal advice given and accepted by the president is to take the remedial action on review."

Zuma's legal team has not yet finalised the basis for the review and is currently working on the arguments to be set out in the application.

Zuma's legal team has not yet finalised the basis for the review and is currently working on the arguments to be set out in the application.

The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA) provides that any proceedings for judicial review must be instituted without unreasonable delay and not later than 180 days from the date that the reviewable action was concluded," the Presidency says.

Thuli Madonsela, the public protector, released her report titled "The State Of Capture" on 14 October this year, days before her term expired. The report contains details of dealings between the Gupta family and cabinet ministers as well as senior civil servants. Brian Molefe, who is also fingered in the report, has since resigned as chief executive of Eskom.

Madonsela was unable to get any information from Zuma after he refused to answer questions during an interview held in Pretoria on 6 October. During the interview Zuma said he cannot "simply answer questions" because his answers will have legal implications.

Madonsela's report says Zuma has to appoint a commission of inquiry, headed by a judge and appointed by the chief justice, to undertake a deeper investigation into allegations around state capture. This commission must have the same powers as the public protector and has to report to Zuma within 180 days.

Madonsela's report says Zuma has to appoint a commission of inquiry, headed by a judge and appointed by the chief justice, to undertake a deeper investigation into allegations around state capture.

Zuma also has to ensure that the Executive Ethics Code is revised and that the Executive Members' Ethics Act – which is silent on action against the president – is reviewed.

The President told MP's during question time in Parliament on Wednesday that he finds it "very funny" that his powers to appoint a commission of inquiry can be usurped, as the report allegedly does.

His lawyers have previously objected to the manner in which Madonsela conducted the investigation and told her he is willing to cooperate if he is given more time.