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Report: Van Rooyen joins call to block release of state capture report

It’s reported Des van Rooyen’s application challenges the powers of the Thuli Madonsela to summons him.

FILE: Cooperative Governance Minister Des Van Rooyen. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Cooperative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen is reportedly bringing an urgent court application to stop the release of ongoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's state capture report.

It emerged this afternoon that President Jacob Zuma was also seeking an interdict to block the release of the report after demanding that Madonsela give him access to witnesses and evidence that she's gathered in the probe, ahead of her departure from the Public Protector's office tomorrow.

Madonsela began the investigation after senior African National Congress (ANC) members, including Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, claimed the controversial Gupta family had offered them positions in government or cabinet.

The investigation was prompted by a request from the Democratic Alliance.

News 24 is reporting tonight that van Rooyen's application challenges the powers of the Public Protector to summons him to answer certain questions and will be heard tomorrow morning.

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.

She 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.

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.

However, there are some indications that the matter may be heard tomorrow morning.

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."

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