The North Gauteng High Court has ordered that the Public Protector’s report into alleged state capture should be released no later then 5pm on Wednesday.
This follows an interesting morning in court, which kicked off with lawyers representing president Jacob Zuma announcing they would be withdrawing the application to block the report’s publishing.
Three judges of the High Court ordered that the report should be published on the Public Protector’s website no later than 5pm on Wednesday – and added that the president had seven days to submit heads of argument on why he shouldn’t the pay costs of the case in his personal capacity.
Zuma, along with cooperative governance minister, Des van Rooyen, and mining minister Mosebenzi Zwane brought an application to block Madonsela’s report into allegations of state capture.
The basis for the president’s case was that, as an implicated person in the investigation, he was not granted a fair opportunity to have his say on allegations of state capture, or to cross-examine witnesses who have made allegations against him.
Similar grounds were mentioned by van Rooyen and Zwane.
According to Zuma’s lawyers, the interdict was not seeking to ban the report, but rather to grant the president a period of two months to have his say in response to the allegations contained within the report.
Van Rooyen’s application was to be heard with Zuma’s, but because of its late entry into the matter – and van Rooyen’s legal team being unprepared – it was struck off the roll as not being urgent.
Van Rooyen wanted all references to him in the report, to be redacted.
Zwane’s application accused Madonsela of having an ulterior motive in producing the report, which implicates him in a number of dubious activities relating to the Gupta family and its businesses.
The mining minister wants the report to be barred from being published, and set aside completely.