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Zuma commits to state capture inquiry

In responding papers filed to the High Court, President Jacob Zuma has argued that former Public Protector Thuli Mandonsela's remedial action should be set aside.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma has committed to set up a commission of inquiry into state capture within 30 days but only if part of Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report is set aside.

In responding papers filed to the High Court, Zuma has argued that Mandonsela's remedial action should be set aside - which compelled him to appoint a commission of inquiry led by a judge selected by the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

President Zuma wants the High Court to set aside Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report on the premise that he will institute his own Commission of Inquiry in good faith.

Last week, Zuma’s lawyers told the court that Madonsela was outsourcing her function to the judiciary and that the new Public Protector should continue with the state capture investigation.

In papers filed on Tuesday, Zuma wants the court to refer the investigation into his alleged violation of the code of ethics back to the Public Protector's office, saying he will set up a Commission of Inquiry within 30 days.

Opposition parties are expected to oppose this.

This would leave the commission open for Zuma to appoint a judge of his choosing.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said: “He wants to be the one to decide what’s to be investigated and who investigates. Secondly, he’s saying that Commission of Inquiry should not investigate any after allegations of wrongdoing against him, that the Public Protector should do that investigation.”