State capture: Court says it can't yet order Zuma to appoint commission

29 September 2017 - 10:48 By Timeslive
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: Thuli Dlamini

The High Court in Pretoria on Friday granted President Jacob Zuma a legal reprieve in his battle to fend off a commission of inquiry appointed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela had directed Zuma to appoint the commission and said it should be headed by a judge appointed by Mogoeng.

Zuma has challenged Madonsela's findings in court, saying it encroaches on his presidential powers. The constitution states that only the president may appoint a commission of inquiry.

But the DA wanted the High Court to force Zuma to comply with Madonsela's findings because he did not apply for a stay of execution before he took Madonsela's remedial action on judicial review.

Judge Motsamai Makume said on Friday that it would be premature to force Zuma to comply with Madonsela's report before Zuma had had an opportunity to argue his case in court.

"In my view, it will not be in the interests of justice at this stage to compel the president to institute a commission of inquiry," Makume said.

Forcing Zuma to constitute the commission right now might result in a waste of state resources, since Zuma's review application might succeed, the judge said. That would mean the commission would have been formed in vain and at great cost. 


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