Showdown looms in Parliament for Zuma over state capture

The fight for the release of the state capture report will be a full-blown affair between President Jacob Zuma and opposition parties in Parliament.

On Tuesday, the application in the Pretoria High Court by Zuma to block the Public Protector from releasing the report was moved to next month.

South African President Jacob Zuma. File picture: Ria Novosti. Credit: EPA

Opposition parties said this matter had to be wrapped up urgently so that Zuma could ­account for his actions.

This came as retired Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke called for ethical leadership in the country.

Moseneke declined to mention Zuma by name, but said the country needed leaders who respected the constitution and upheld the rule of law.

The DA on Tuesday lodged an application to oppose Zuma’s court interdict on the release of the long-awaited report.

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said it was a pity that Zuma had blocked the report before it was released by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

He was supported by Dennis Bloem of Cope, who said they believed Zuma was using delaying tactics by going to court.

Madonsela had insisted on releasing the report, and made it clear this was a final report.

However, she was stopped in her tracks by Zuma, who filed an urgent High Court application to interdict her from releasing the report.

Holomisa said there was no need for Zuma to try to keep the report away from the ­public, because some of its ­contents were already in the public domain.

“We wanted this matter wrapped up last week, so that people will know the truth,” said Holomisa. But Zuma decided to stop the release of the report, he said.

The investigations into state capture and the conduct of the Guptas may require multiple inquiries, said the UDM leader.

Bloem said Zuma needed to account, and they hoped the court would finalise the matter soon after hearing their arguments on November 1.

It did not make a difference to them that the matter had now been joined with that of Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen.

“The report of the public protector always comes with recommendations; we are going to make sure that those recommendations are implemented,” Bloem said.

The report cannot be altered by Zuma, because it has been signed by Madonsela, said Bloem.

“We don’t think this court matter will be a long process. However, we will insist on the implementation of the recommendations of the public protector,” he said.

The powers of the public protector were clarified by the Constitutional Court in the March 31 judgment on Nkandla.