President Jacob Zuma said the controversial State capture report is unlawful and therefore should never be made public.
The president said this in his latest bid to quell former Public Protectors Thuli Madonsela‘s investigation report on the matter.
Zuma, in his supplementary affidavit signed on Saturday, gave a notice that he was going to ask the court for permission to amend his application where he stated that he would ask the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on Tuesday to interdict the office of the public protector from publishing the report until he had sufficient time to vet and provide meaningful input into the investigation.
Former public Protector Thuli was asked to investigate people’s complaints of unethical conduct by the president and officials of state organs owing to their alleged inappropriate relationship with the Gupta family.
But in his latest affidavit, Zuma said the state capture report is unlawful and therefore he would ask the court to rule that the conduct of the public protector in finalising the report be declared unlawful.
According to him, Thuli said the report was final while knowing that he did not have the time nor the opportunity to be heard and to provide any meaningful input into the investigation.
He said he wants the new Public Protector, advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to provide him with all the evidence adverse to him so that he could effectively exercise his rights in terms of the Public Protector Act. Also, he wants to pose questions to the witnesses advocate Thuli Madonsela consulted in reaching her findings in her report.
Apart from the fact that he had no sufficient time to provide answers to questions posed to him by the public protector, he was also frustrated by that office as he was not provided with the necessary information to enable him to exercise his rights.
“If the process leading to the finalisation of the report was compromised, then it cannot be known with certainty what course the process might have taken had the procedural requirements been properly observed.
“The respondents (Public Protector and its office) have also stated that there is a huge public interest in the report and therefore the report was required to be completed expeditiously.“However, I am advised that the seriousness of the complaint and the public interest in ensuring the relevant persons are exposed and held accountable for their actions, cannot justify an adverse finding if the evidence is
“However, I am advised that the seriousness of the complaint and the public interest in ensuring the relevant persons are exposed and held accountable for their actions, cannot justify an adverse finding if the evidence is insufficient,” Zuma said, adding that the procedural requirements laid down by the law had been infringed and therefore the final state capture report is unlawful.
He concluded by saying that only after he was allowed to offer his input could the public protector consider the new information provided and finalise the report. “This would then constitute a lawful report.”
The court is however set for the application hearing come Tuesday, November 1, as it is believed that Judge President Dunstan Mlambo will be one of the judges.