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No order stopping Madonsela from releasing state capture report - lawyer

Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen has also applied for an interdict due to be heard today.

FIEL: Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There's no order stopping Public Protector Thuli Madonsela from releasing the much anticipated state capture report today but she's been advised not to do so until President Jacob Zuma's urgent application is heard next week.

Co-operative Governance Minister Des van Rooyen has also applied for an interdict due to be heard today.

Madonsela, who is in her final hours as the country's Public Protector has apparently on advice from her legal team, has decided not to release the report.

Madonsela was expected to release the state capture report today - or at least certain parts of it that have been finalised - but it's understood she won't be releasing it based on advice from her lawyers.

Attorney Andries Nkome, however, says at this point there's nothing stopping her.

"If I were the Public Protector, in the case of the president's application, I'd continue and issue the interim report. Either way, the report is only interim and I don't see the reason why the president ought to file earlier application to seek to stop an interim application.

"When his time comes to be before the court on Tuesday, obviously the court will say this argument is moot simply because the report had been issued on Friday."

VAN ROOYEN DEFIANT

It's understood Van Rooyen is challenging the public protector's powers to summon him to answer questions.

Madonsela has been investigating allegations of state capture involving Zuma's friends, the Gupta family.

Van Rooyen was controversially appointed as Finance Minister in December last year but was days later replaced by Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan has since been implicated in a Hawks investigation of South African Revenue Services and was this week charged with fraud.

Van Rooyen's appointment was allegedly motivated and orchestrated by the Guptas through Zuma.

Zuma released a statement this week asking Madonsela not to release the state capture report, saying he has not been given a reasonable opportunity to provide meaningful input into the investigation.

The lawyer representing the Guptas, says it would not be in good faith if the report was released today but there's been no intention for them to approach the courts.

There's been no indication at this stage on how her office will respond to the court interdicts.

Van Rooyen's urgent application is scheduled to be heard in court this morning.

Gert van der Merwe, who represents the Gupta family, has also urged Madonsela not to release the report, saying his clients weren't given a fair opportunity to look at the evidence or interview witnesses who implicate the family but they have decided not to approach the courts.

"We don't want to create the impression that we want to prevent a report, we want to support a report. I advised the Gupta family to wait for the report and if the report then contains adverse conclusions against them to take it on review.

"I'm convinced that proper processes, as far as my client was concerned, was not followed."

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