Court hears state capture report has been completed, signed off

The matter has been postponed to 1 November.

FILE: Outgoing Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The High Court in Pretoria has heard that Advocate Thuli Madonsela's state capture report has been completed and signed off, but it won't be released to the public just yet.

The matter has been postponed until 1 November.

Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen approached the court to interdict the Public Protector from releasing it today, saying he has not had an opportunity to properly respond to it.

President Jacob Zuma has also approached the high court, that matter is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Congress of the People (Cope) raised concerns that if the Public Protector's report is not released today, it may never see the light of day.

Judge Dawie Fourie proposed that Madonsela's report be preserved and kept in safekeeping, until such time a court orders that it be released.

It's been agreed by all the parties that Zuma and Van Rooyen's application be heard together on the same day.

Madonsela's legal team told the court that her report has been finalised and signed off.

However, it expresses no opinion on the evidence, and makes no findings or recommendations.

Both Zuma and Van Rooyen's applications to interdict the release of the Public Protector's state capture report, have been postponed until 1 November.

Several political parties intervened in the application to oppose it, and also asked the court to force Madonsela to release the report.

It was agreed by all parties that the document be preserved until the matter is finalised.

Timelines have been set for the legal teams to file all the necessary documents.

The EFF's Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi was concerned that Madonsela's state capture report would be buried.

"It's not clear to us what will happen to this report when the current Public Protector is no longer in office. There is a substantial public interest that this report must be distributed."

Meanwhile, the BBC says it has learnt that damning cellphone evidence is a key part of Madonsela's investigation.

The BBC says sources close to Madonsela say evidence gathered from cellphones show that Van Rooyen had spent the previous evening at the home of the Gupta family before his appointment as finance minister.

This evidence is yet to be verified by the final report.