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Presidency complains over leaked audio of Zuma, Madonsela meeting

The Presidency wants clarity from the Office of the Public Protector on its policy regarding the release of audio recordings of its interviews.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Presidency has lodged a complaint with the Office of the Public Protector regarding the leaking of an audio recording of the discussions that took place during the meeting between President Jacob Zuma and Advocate Thuli Madonsela during her investigation into allegations of state capture.

The Public Protector's State of Capture report was released last week after legal attempts to keep it away from the public.

The report cites, among other findings, an alleged corrupt relationship between the Gupta family and President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane.

The Presidency is seeking clarity from the Office of the Public Protector on the policy of the institution regarding the release of audio recordings of interviews conducted during the course of investigations.

The Presidency's Bongani Ngqulunga says they want to know if it is policy to release such recordings.

“We noticed that they were leaked to the eNCA and we also sought clarity from the Office of the Public Protector whether it is their policy to release of audio recordings of interviews of conversation between the Public Protector and witnesses during the course of investigations.”

ZUMA IMPLICATED

The report released shows that President Zuma is implicated in illegal activities related to the favourable treatment of the Gupta family.

Madonsela has ordered the president to institute a judicial commission of inquiry within the next 30 days.

The report also implicates Cabinet ministers and parastatals.

Madonsela says the investigation has proven that due to the extent of the issues raised in the report, the Public Protector cannot execute the investigation fully due to lack of resources and has recommended that the president appoints a commission of inquiry within 30 days headed by a judge solely selected by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, who shall provide one name to the president.

The National Treasury must ensure the commission is adequately resourced and the judge must be given the power to appoint his/her own staff to investigate all the issues using the record of this investigation and the report as a starting point.

The commission must also be given powers of evidence collection that are no less than that of the Public Protector.

Madonsela says the commission should give the president a report with findings and recommendations within 108 days.

The Presidency says President Zuma will consider the report.

Opposition parties have welcomed its release.

Read the Public Protector's full 'State of Capture' report below:

State Capture Report 2016 by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd