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Madonsela, Zuma to face off in court on Tuesday?

Thuli Madonsela’s office confirmed that the urgent interdict is due to be heard at the Pretoria High Court.

FILE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Public Protector's office has confirmed that the notice served by the President Jacob Zuma today to interdict the release of the state capture report is due to be heard in court on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, President Zuma said he wanted an assurance from Thuli Madonsela's office that she would not release the report and today, Zuma's legal team applied for an urgent court interdict.

Madonsela is due to hold a media conference tomorrow but her office has refused to confirm if she will give a report-back on this particular investigation.

The Public Protector's office has confirmed that the urgent interdict is due to be heard at the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday as indicated on the notice served on Madonsela today.

The President has indicated that he doesn't want the state capture report to be released before he has been afforded an opportunity to look at all the evidence gathered and interview the witnesses.

There was no indication from Madonsela whether or not this particular investigation would be released tomorrow as she has been finalising a number of cases.

The Public Protector's Kgalalelo Masibi said, "The Public Protector is currently consulting her lawyers and it will be heard next week Tuesday, stated in the noting."

Madonsela will confirm later whether or not her press briefing will go ahead tomorrow, and how she will respond to the President's application for an urgent interdict.

On Monday, Madonsela said she was concerned that Zuma on two occasions agreed to answer questions in the state capture investigation, only to change his mind.

Zuma met with Madonsela last week but asked for the meeting to be postponed so he can prepare his evidence.

The Presidency said President Zuma should be given the full opportunity to prepare his response in order to avoid binding remedial action, which could come from the report based on evidence he has not tested

It's understood Madonsela denied a request by the Presidency to access the evidence and where necessary interview witnesses.

Instead she reportedly told the President to provide his answers in affidavit form to her office.

Madonsela's investigation is looking into allegations that Zuma allowed or ignored the Gupta family to influence state appointments.

DA REACTS

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) says the move shows President Zuma is worried about what is contained in the report and desperate to stop it from being made public.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane laid the complaint that led to the Public Protector investigating the Gupta family's influence over the government.

The DA's Mabine Seabe said, "We're of the strong view that this is desperate attempt by President Jacob Zuma to delay the inevitable, this points to someone who's been pushed in a corner and is now trying to get out."

Additional reporting by Mmatshepo Chiloane.

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