New SA public Protector Mkhwebane said the controversial state capture probe report will still be under lock and key until the court process has been finalized.
Busisiwe Mkhwebane who had her debut briefing at Parliament as South Africa’s new public protector, said releasing the highly anticipated state capture report will not be made just yet, not until court gives her the go ahead order.
Advocate Mkhwebane had her first Parliamentary briefing today as she briefed the justice oversight committee on her office’s annual report for the past financial year – something Advocate Thuli Madonsela was scheduled to do last week before the meeting was postponed at the last minute.
Madonsela was due to release the report on Friday‚ the last day of her seven-year non-renewable term as public protector‚ but could not as President Jacob Zuma and Minister of Co-operative Governance Des van Rooyen launched urgent applications before the High Court in Pretoria to prevent its publication.
Madonsela, however, noted that she sent the report to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete for safekeeping after a preservation order was granted by the High Court in Pretoria earlier in the day.
Later that night Mbete’s office said she had returned the report to Madonsela’s office, as the law required her to place it on public record by tabling it in the National Assembly and she was not able to do so in this instance.
The report was later handed over to Public Protector Mkhwebane who at her debute briefing said she doesn’t like to refer to the report as “the state capture” report.
Meanwhile, the DA’s leader, Mmusi Maimane said he has formally written to the public protector requesting that a copy of the report be given to his party.
Maimane alleged that there is no “reasonable justification” that new Public Protector Mkhwebane can deny his demand to be furnished with a copy of the report into state capture.
“As the complainant in this matter‚ I am entitled by law to be provided with a copy of this report‚ which has been completed according to outgoing public protector‚ advocate Thuli Madonsela‚” the Democratic Alliance leader said.
“…Madonsela’s statement that the state capture report is final and cannot be changed means that the current report must be handed over to the complainant‚” Maimane added.
Maimane further said the state capture report is complete‚ and there exists no reasonable justification to not furnish the complainant with the report – never mind make it public as constitutionally mandated to.”
He noted that it “must be open to the public unless exceptional circumstances require that a report be kept confidential