State Capture: 'Not establishing inquiry amounts to taking law into own hands'

The President claims the Public Protector’s order to establish the commission of inquiry and for the chief justice to appoint the presiding judge is unconstitutional.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - President Jacob Zuma’s legal team has warned that the High Court risks declaring potentially unlawful remedial action as lawful if it compels the President to establish a state capture judicial commission of inquiry.

This is among the arguments heard in the High Court in Pretoria on Tuesday in the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) application to compel Zuma to adhere to the remedial action.

The President has not established the commission because he has taken the State of Capture report on review, with the matter expected to be heard later this year.

Advocate Ishmael Semenya has told the court it risks classing unconstitutional remedial action as legal, despite the possibility a court may rule that it is in fact unlawful.

The President claims the Public Protector’s order to establish the commission of inquiry and for the chief justice to appoint the presiding judge is unconstitutional.

But the Public Protector’s advocate, who did not oppose the application, has argued that the failure to establish the commission amounts to Zuma taking the law into his own hands.

DA’s Advocate Anton Katz says the court has no choice but to order that Zuma has once again violated the Constitution.

Judgment has been reserved.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)