When the Public Protector Committee selected Busisiwe Mkhwebane to be South Africa’s next Public Protector, there were insinuations that she’s Daddy Zuma’s buddy.
Now, a statement issued by the Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela in response to another the Presidency issued concerning the state capture investigation revealed that President Zuma asked for a deferment of the investigation to the next public protector.
Mr. President in his statement, formally asked the outgoing Public Protector not to complete her investigation into the state capture allegations until he has been allowed to question other witnesses in the probe.
In her statement, Madonsela said it’s worrisome how President Zuma has on two occasions, undertaken to answer questions only to change his mind when the time arose.
“The Public Protector would like to report that President Jacob Zuma was afforded a proper opportunity to tender his evidence since 22 March 2016…
President Zuma was on Saturday, October 01, 2016, given all copies of evidence implicating him.
His lawyer raised a request to question witnesses for the first time on Thursday, October 06, 2016 when he was asking for a deferment of the investigation to the next Public Protector,” read an excerpt from Madonsela’s statement.
With that, Madonsela disclosed that a letter has been prepared to advise the President to submit questions that will be put to witnesses on his behalf.
The Public Protector added that it is in the interest of the President to account for what he knows regarding the allegations which was forwarded to him since March 2016.
Stressing that it is in the interest of public trust that the matter be concluded expeditiously, Madonsela appealed to Mr. President to assist with any information he has that can assist the investigation by answering the questions put to him.
Reacting to the issue, the Democratic Alliance party condemned President Zuma’s attitude as a ploy to add unnecessary delays to the Public Protector’s probe into State Capture.
“President’s latest stunt comes after last week’s meeting with the Public Protector where he stated…that ‘there was no reason for the investigation to be prioritized’.
“It is clear that President Zuma has a lot to hide and is fast running out of options. (He) has the propensity to employ delaying tactics when he is called to account for his indiscretions.
“…This last-ditch attempt to stall the State Capture probe points to a panicked man whose chickens have finally come home to roost,” stated the opposition party.
Afterward, the party charged that the nation can’t allow the president to tacitly or explicitly undermine the work of the Public Protector in order to evade accountability.