Pub­lic pro­tec­tor turns the ta­bles on Zuma

The Star Early Edition - - FRONT PAGE - BALDWIN ND­ABA

PUB­LIC Pro­tec­tor Busi Mkhwe­bane has turned the ta­bles on Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma and filed court pa­pers to sup­port the damn­ing “State of Cap­ture” re­port of her pre­de­ces­sor, Thuli Madon­sela.

In her ap­pli­ca­tion, Mkhwe­bane op­posed Zuma’s de­sire to ap­point a re­tired judge to head the ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry into state cap­ture in the coun­try.

In her State of Cap­ture re­port, Madon­sela rec­om­mended that Chief Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng should ap­point a re­tired judge, and Mkhwe­bane agrees.

This comes af­ter Zuma filed court pa­pers ask­ing to be granted a stay of ex­e­cu­tion on the re­me­dial ac­tion pro­posed by Madon­sela.

Zuma’s court ap­pli­ca­tion came af­ter Madon­sela’s re­port im­pli­cated him, his fam­ily and Gupta-linked com­pa­nies in the se­rial abuse of state funds to ben­e­fit the Gup­tas.

How­ever, Zuma ar­gued that the re­me­dial ac­tions should not be im­ple­mented un­til he had had an op­por­tu­nity to clear his name of the al­le­ga­tions in Madon­sela’s re­port.

But Mkhwe­bane dis­agrees. In her strongly worded coun­ter­af­fi­davit, the pub­lic pro­tec­tor said Zuma and the govern­ment had pub­licly ex­pressed their sup­port for the es­tab­lish­ment of the com­mis­sion, say­ing it could be es­tab­lished and be­gin its work.

“This will not pre­clude the courts from de­ter­min­ing the le­gal ques­tion con­cern­ing the law­ful­ness of the re­me­dial ac­tion,” she said.

Mkhwe­bane said Zuma’s ap­pli­ca­tion sought to re­tain con­trol over var­i­ous as­pects of the com­mis­sion’s func­tion­ing.

“Be­cause the al­le­ga­tions in the re­port im­pli­cate him per­son­ally and fi­nan­cially, it is not per­mis­si­ble for him to do so.

“His chal­lenge to these as­pects of the re­me­dial ac­tion has no prospect of suc­cess. It is not per­mis­si­ble for the sub­ject of re­me­dial ac­tion to dis­re­gard it be­cause re­view pro­ceed­ings have been launched,” Mkhwe­bane said.

She was adamant that re­me­dial ac­tion must be com­plied with un­til a court had set aside, or granted, an or­der sus­pend­ing its im­ple­men­ta­tion.

“It is not in the pub­lic in­ter­est to stay the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the re­me­dial ac­tion. It is ur­gent that the al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture be prop­erly in­ves­ti­gated and de­ter­mined as soon as pos­si­ble,” Mkhwe­bane said.

In one of Zuma’s replies in Par­lia­ment on June 22, he told the Na­tional As­sem­bly: “We have taken a de­ci­sion to es­tab­lish the ju­di­cial com­mis­sion of in­quiry, and the (Gupta) e-mails will be part of that. So we are not leav­ing them unat­tended to; then we will be able to speak about the e-mails with a se­ri­ous sci­en­tific in­ves­ti­ga­tion which would tell us ex­actly what hap­pened, and to what ex­tent they are dis­rupt­ing the life of South Africans.”

Zuma’s spokesper­son, Bon­gani Ngqu­lunga, said yes­ter­day that he was not aware of the lat­est court ac­tion by Mkhwe­bane.

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