Public Protector ordered to release state capture report by 5pm today

This morning President Jacob Zuma abandoned his attempt to halt and postpone the release of the report.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on 14 October 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA – The Pretoria High Court judges have ordered the Public Protector to release the state capture report by no later than 5pm today

This morning President Jacob Zuma abandoned his attempt to halt and postpone the release of the report.

On Tuesday the High Court in Pretoria ruled that four opposition parties and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor could intervene in Zuma's legal bid to interdict the release of the Public Protector's state capture report.

The report, compiled by former Public Protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela, is believed to expose the nature of the relationships between the president’s friends, the Gupta family, and himself, as well as several ministers.

The court also struck off the roll the application by Minister Des van Rooyen due to lack of urgency.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Congress of the People (Cope), Democratic Alliance (DA) and United Democratic Movement (UDM) had joined Mentor in opposing the matter, while Van Rooyen and Mosebenzi Zwane had joined to support Zuma.

CELEBRATIONS AS ZUMA BACK TRACKS, COURT RULES IN FAVOUR OF OPPOSITION PARTIES

Zuma had earlier dropped a court bid to delay the release of the report, without giving reasons.

In his challenge, Zuma had wanted to question witnesses himself and give evidence before any public release of the report.

There were mass celebrations outside the court after Judge Dunstan Mlambo ordered that Thuli Madonsela’s findings be made public.

“The Public Protector is ordered to publish the report, forthwith and by no later than 5pm on 2 November 2016 – including through publication on the Public Protector’s website.”

Opposition parties who were granted access to the case yesterday as listed respondents have succeeded in forcing new Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to publish the highly anticipated report.

It’s still unclear exactly why Zuma decided to withdraw his application for an urgent interdict, but the parties indicated that he would never have won this case.

Mlambo also ordered Zuma to pay the costs on an attorney and client scale but the matter of whether he should pay in his personal capacity has been reserved.

Opposition parties have been given seven days to file supplementary affidavits to address that issue.

‘THE HOUSE OF CARDS IS CRUMBLING FOR ZUMA AND HIS REGIME’

At the same time, former Congress of the South African Trade Union (Cosatu) secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi has described today’s high court ruling as a major victory for South Africans and urged Zuma to resign.
Vavi spoke shortly after the high court ordered the release of the state capture report.

He says the people who want to destroy South Africa have walked away from this court with their tails between their legs.

“The people of South Africa have won a major victory against the agenda to drive South Africa into an autocratic society.”

Vavi believes this case marks a turning point.

“The house of cards is crumbling now. This is a true beginning of the end for Zuma’s regime and all of the people who have been clapping while he has been messing our country.”

He says Zuma and all his supporters should leave office.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)