‘State capture report to remain under lock & key’

The Public Protector says she’ll keep the report until the court action by Zuma and van Rooyen is finalised.

New Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - New Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane says the state capture report will remain under lock and key, until the court action brought by President Jacob Zuma and Cabinet minister Des van Rooyen is finalised.

The North Gauteng High Court will on 1 November 2016 hear applications by Zuma and Van Rooyen to interdict the release of the report compiled under the watch of Mkhwebane's predecessor, Thuli Madonsela.

Madonsela's investigation focused on allegations of undue influence over government affairs and the appointment of Cabinet ministers by members of the Gupta family.

The Public Protector says she's preparing an affidavit for the pending court case over the state capture report which has to be filed by Friday.

"I cannot release the report until the matter is finalised because the matter is sub judice"

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wanted to know if it could see the report as it is the complainant and the Public Protector Act allows for this.

Mkhwebane's also told MPs that she dislikes the term "state capture" being used to refer to the report.

She says the report is being kept securely in a safe in the Office of the Public Protector.

Mkhwebane told Eyewitness News after the meeting that she has not read the report.

MADONSELA'S HANDOVER TO MKHWEBANE

At the same time, Advocate Mkhwebane says she met her predecessor for a brief 20 minutes last week and was not given any written handover report by her.

Madonsela was finalising her report on state capture when Mkhwebane arrived for the handover.

The Public Protector has been briefing Parliament's justice portfolio committee on her office's annual report, for Madonsela's last year in office, in her first public engagement since assuming office three days ago.

The former Public Protector was due to brief the committee on the annual report last week but the meeting was postponed to today at the last minute.

African National Congress (ANC) Member of Parliament (MP) Bongani Bongo wanted to know about the quality of Madonsela's handover to her successor.

Mkhwebane says when she arrived at the offices Madonsela was busy preparing for a media conference on her state capture report.

"We only met with her for 20 minutes before she had a media briefing."

She says it was agreed that she would meet with Madonsela later.

"I will engage with her… because I was not given any report, written report from her specifically"

Advocate Mkhwebane met with the Deputy Public Protector and other staff, but says she wanted to be briefed on key cases, including the state capture report.