Zuma ‘buy­ing time’ on state cap­ture re­port

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - SIYABONGA MKHWANAZI

PRES­I­DENT Ja­cob Zuma faces a back­lash from op­po­si­tion par­ties which ques­tioned his de­ci­sion to re­quest the court to post­pone next Tues­day’s ap­pli­ca­tion to in­ter­dict the state cap­ture re­port.

Zuma wants the court to stop the re­lease of the re­port and re­open the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into state cap­ture be­cause he wants to ques­tion some of the wit­nesses, in­clud­ing his own min­is­ters.

But this has an­gered op­po­si­tion par­ties, which say they will op­pose Zuma’s re­quest to post­pone the hear­ing in the Pre­to­ria High Court. The DA, Cope and UDM said this was an­other de­lay­ing tac­tic to block the re­lease of the re­port.

They said Zuma had, from March 22, failed to re­spond to ques­tions sent to him by for­mer pub­lic pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela. But Zuma is now de­mand­ing that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into state cap­ture be re­opened.

Madon­sela had in­di­cated her re­port was fi­nal. This was be­fore she left of­fice and Zuma in­ter­dicted the re­lease of the re­port.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane said he would not al­low Zuma to use de­lay­ing tac­tics as par­ties wanted the re­port to be re­leased as soon as pos­si­ble.

The DA is one of the in­ter­ven­ing par­ties in the state cap­ture re­port. Maimane lodged a com­plaint with Madon­sela im­me­di­ately af­ter al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture emerged in March.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said his party would op­pose Zuma’s lat­est at­tempt to pre­vent the re­lease of the re­port, while Cope spokesman Den­nis Bloem ac­cused Zuma of try­ing to stall the re­lease of the re­port.

“This is a de­lay­ing tac­tic by Zuma. The man did the same with the Nkandla re­port; he was play­ing for time,” said Bloem.

Madon­sela com­plained Zuma had taken 14 months to re­spond to the ques­tions she had sent to him re­gard­ing Nkandla. She said he had not re­sponded to all queries and had left cru­cial ques­tions unan­swered.

Bloem said this was an un­nec­es­sary delay and the peo­ple wanted the re­port.

“The case must go ahead on Tues­day and that re­port must be re­leased soon,” he said.

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