President Jacob Zuma plans to postpone court’s state capture report hearing, saying he needs more time to respond to the late application to intervene by former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.
According to report, the president looks at shifting the court hearing scheduled to hold on Tuesday, November 1.
This follows Zuma’s interception of the controversial investigation report by the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on the claim that the former advocate had given him no time to speak with the witnesses.
Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen also joined the president to intercept the draft report from being released.
In his application, van Rooyen will challenge the public protector’s powers to make him answer certain questions pertaining to the State Capture Report Hearing. Court hearing is to take place at the High Court in Pretoria on Friday, while Zuma’s will be heard on Tuesday.
BuzzSouthAfrica also reported on Tuesday that former ANC member of the parliament, Vytjie Mentor filed an affidavit where she confirmed that the Gupta family had offered her a Cabinet post in exchange for furthering their business interests.
Mentor was one of those who were interviewed by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her investigation into “state capture”.
In March 2016, she alleged Zuma’s close friend the Gupta family offered her the job of minister for public enterprises in 2010 in exchange for canceling SAA routes to India.
In her affidavit, she said she is seeking to intervene in the Zuma matter as a respondent, and is asking that the president’s application be dismissed. She also asked the court to direct Zuma to pay the costs of the application.
“I declined the offer and told the Gupta representatives that they lacked the authority to make such an offer. As I was leaving, the president entered the room,” she wrote.
“As I was leaving, the president entered the room. I recounted the offer and advised him that I could not, in good conscience, accept the offer. The president responded and said, ‘It’s okay Ntombazana, you have come such a long way in crutches,’ and saw me out,” Mentor said in her affidavit.
Meanwhile, President Zuma’s lawyers, state attorney Isaac Chowe had in his letter noted that his client would be opposing Mentor’s application, meaning the exchange of more affidavit
“This obviously means that the matter will not be ripe for hearing on Tuesday November 1, 2016,” he said, referring to the latest affidavit from the public protector’s office — which confirmed that the report was a final
This also meant that the president would be amending what he had originally asked the court to do and also adding to his court papers, he said.
It is, however, unclear if opposition parties like the DA, EFF, UDM and COPE who have been keen to have the report released, would accept the new application by the president against the State Capture Report Hearing.