President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters

Pretoria - The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) on Saturday said President Jacob Zuma "must be held personally financially liable" if his bid to appeal the high court order to set up a commission of inquiry into state capture allegations fails.

"Another wasteful appeal from Zuma will only undermine the country to deal with state capture, corruption and fraud. The North Gauteng High Court found Zuma to be reckless, unreasonable and ill-advised, and held him personally liable for the legal costs," said Fedusa General Secretary Dennis George.

He said Fedusa supports the decision of the ANC's 54th elective conference which resolved that a commission of inquiry into state capture must be urgently instituted. 

Zuma has filed papers seeking to appeal against the decision by Judge Dunstan Mlambo that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng chooses the judge to head up the commission. In court papers the President said constitution confers the power in him to appoint a commission of inquiry. He said the court erred in holding that this is a power exercised with the chief justice, a ruling he said offends the separation of powers doctrine. 

However, George said: "The federation is of the opinion that Zuma’s continued appeal is just another delaying tactic. Thus, the actions of Zuma disrespecting the constitution is creating political and economic uncertainty affecting workers negatively, could result in further job loses".

Fedusa said it "denounces any further wastage of hard-earned taxpayers' money, and demands that President Zuma be held financially liable if the appeals process fails. Irreparable harm to the economy and damage to the image of the country must be averted at all costs".

In his court papers filed in the high court in Pretoria, Zuma insists the mounting calls for him to establish the commission of inquiry into the extensive allegations of state capture were based on "untested suspicions". He is also challenging the order that he pay costs.

This after the high court ruled that the remedial action, which included the establishment of a commission of inquiry, recommended by former public protector Thuli Madonsela was lawful and must be implemented.

African News Agency/ANA