Zuma U-turn on state capture shocks litigants

26 October 2017 - 06:57
By Claudi Mailovich
President Jacob Zuma. File photo.
Image: David Harrison President Jacob Zuma. File photo.

President Jacob Zuma's 11th-hour about-turn - abandoning plans to have Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report referred to her successor as public protector for further investigation - has left the situation in legal limbo.

Zuma had asked the High Court to review and set aside the remedial action specified by Madonsela, and to refer her report back to her successor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, for further investigation.

Madonsela's remedial action would involve Zuma instituting a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of state capture, and Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng - not Zuma - would select the presiding officer.

DA federal chairman James Selfe described the last-minute announcement as "cynical beyond description" He said Zuma had wasted everybody's time. Zuma's action had reminded him of the litigation tactics used by the president in the Nkandla and the "spy tapes" cases.

Advocate Steven Budlender for the DA immediately suggested in court that Zuma's entire review application be dismissed.

Advocate Dali Mpofu, who represented the Congress of the People and the United Democratic Movement, said Zuma could be sure that the establishment of a commission on his own terms would be challenged in court.