Madonsela concerned Zuma is dodging state capture probe questions

President Zuma has avoided answering the Public Protector’s questions about the controversial Gupta family.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Radio 702

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says she's concerned that President Jacob Zuma has changed his mind on two occasions to answer questions about her investigation into state capture.

Yesterday, the Presidency released a statement saying Zuma has asked Madonsela to question witnesses who have appeared before her and to be given access to the transcripts of their testimony.

Zuma has avoided answering the Public Protector's questions about the controversial Gupta family and their alleged involvement in dismissing and appointing Cabinet ministers, saying he wants to be afforded the opportunity to be heard in order to avoid remedial actions that can be made, based on evidence not tested by him.

In President Zuma's letter to the Public Protector, he requests that her office not conclude the state capture investigation or issue any report until all evidence is made available to him, that he's given an opportunity to question the witnesses and he has been afforded a proper opportunity to tender his evidence.

Zuma has requested this undertaking before the close of business today.

In response, Madonsela issued a statement last night saying the President was afforded a proper opportunity to tender his evidence since March this year, and he was given copies of all the evidence that implicates him at the beginning of this month.

Madonsela says the request to question witnesses was raised for the first time last week when Zuma was asking for a deferment of the investigation to the next Public Protector.

A letter has been prepared to advise the President to submit questions that will be put to witnesses on his behalf.

Madonsela only has four days left in office and says it's in the president's interest to account for what he knows regarding the allegations so that the matter can be concluded.

To read the full letter, click here.