Zuma abandons bid to have #StateCapture claims re-investigated
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Pretoria – After two days of arguing at the North Gauteng High Court, President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday through his legal representative abandoned his bid to have the state capture report referred back to the public protector for further investigations.
Initially, Zuma had asked for an order sending the state capture report back for further investigations, and since Monday, the thrust of Zuma's legal representation was that the report was based on allegations.
Advocate Ishmail Semenya, for Zuma, argued that former public protector Thuli Madonsela should have compiled the report once she had conducted a full investigation.
"The public protector cannot recommend remedial action without investigating and making findings of impropriety. You can't prescribe a remedy for a condition you haven't diagnosed," Semenya said at the time.
"The public protector must tell us where she gets the power to say her findings must be investigated by someone else."
Last year, Madonsela recommended that a commission of inquiry be established by Zuma but that the judge should be chosen by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
Zuma approached the court to challenge the remedial action suggested by Madonsela. He believes the public protector has no right to tell him who should appoint a judge that would head up an inquiry.
The development on Wednesday, caused confusion as it was unclear to the court what it meant for Zuma's main application that the remedial action, as stated in the report, should be reviewed.
Judge Dunstan Mlambo asked all the parties in this case, including Zuma, to make written submissions not exceeding two pages on the implications of the president abandoning this crucial aspect of his case.
All the counsels have been given until Friday to make their submissions and Zuma's deadline is on Tuesday.
Mlambo said judgment in the matter would be reserved, but they would try to give a ruling before the end of the term.
Democratic Alliance Federal Council chairperson James Selfe, who was in court, said it was cynical for the president to abandon half of his review application on the last minute.
"It reminds us entirely of what happened in [the] Nkandla case, where exactly the same tactics were used. When the president ran out of legal arguments he withdrew at the last minute and we believe this is cynical beyond description."
Selfe said Zuma has wasted enough time and has frustrated the public with his delaying tactics.
"What South Africans now need is closure on this matter and we cannot wait any longer for a commission of inquiry to be appointed to get to the shameful chapter in South African history and hold those implicated in state capture to account."