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Zuma abandons bid to halt release of state capture report

Judges had ruled a grouping of opposition parties and Vytjie Mentor can intervene in the case as respondents.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Anthony Molyneaux/EWN.

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma’s legal team has withdrawn his bid to halt the release of the Public Protector's highly anticipated state capture report.

The court was expected to hear arguments in the urgent interdict case which was to determine if the report is released to the public.

In a dramatic about turn, President Zuma’s legal team told the full bench of judges that they were withdrawing the application to prevent the release of the state capture report.

It’s not clear what prompted the move.

The various opposition parties are now seeking an order to compel Public Protector Busisiwe Mkwebane to release her predecessor’s report.

They want it made public as soon as possible.

The parties have also argued that it is now time for Zuma to personally accept responsibility for his actions and he should pay for the legal costs of this case, not the taxpayer.

They have argued that the President has wasted state funds by bringing this matter to court only to withdraw it at the last moment.

On Tuesday, a panel of judges ruled a grouping of opposition parties and former African National Congress Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor can intervene in the case as respondents.

However, after a full day in court, the merits of the case weren't dealt with.

President Zuma’s legal team has argued that he has the right to interview witnesses who submitted evidence in the state capture investigation and answer questions that were put to him by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.