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Still no word from Presidency following judgments against Zuma

Over the course of several hours and spread over two judgments, the court made it clear what it thought of President Zuma’s conduct.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - There’s still no word from the Presidency following damning judgments against President Jacob Zuma.

The High Court in Pretoria on Wednesday rejected all of the president’s grounds for reviewing the State of Capture remedial action and ordered that he personally pay the costs of his failed attempt to block its release.

Zuma had launched the application on the eve of the release of the report last year on grounds that he wasn’t given an opportunity to respond to the allegations against him.

In back-to-back judgments, Judge President Dunstan Mlambo described Zuma as reckless, an abuser of the judicial process and showing disregard for the constitutional duties of the Public Protector.

Over the course of several hours and spread over two judgments, the court made it clear what it thought of Zuma’s conduct.

Mlambo referred to Zuma’s approach to the litigation.

“The president’s persistence with the litigation clearly amounts to objectionable conduct and amounts to clear abuse of the judicial process.”

He says the action was baseless.

“The president has no justifiable basis to launch the review application in the circumstance. In doing so, he was reckless and acted unreasonably.”

The court further questioned the legal advice he obtained.

“The president was ill-advised and reckless.”

Zuma has been ordered to personally pay the costs of two failed applications.

Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who was at court on Wednesday, emphasised the urgency of setting up the inquiry.

“But more than anything else, every day we lose, we’re losing evidence and this is becoming a cold case and by the time we investigate, a lot of evidence, if not all of it, will be lost.”

High Court Judgment on State Capture Matter by Primedia Broadcasting on Scribd

Reacting to Wednesday’s judgment, former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says the ruling shows that corruption and state capture is real.

“We have further confirmation that state capture and corruption are major challenges of government and in respect with public funds it’s a reality in South Africa.”

Meanwhile, the South African Council of Churches which compiled a report titled The Unburdening Panel, which detailed how state capture's been used to loot state resources says it doesn’t feel vindicated.

The Council's Bishop Malusi Mpulwana said: “I actually feel sad rather than vindicated. When there’s a report of state capture and corruption of a gross nature, the first thing was not to be self-preservation, they needed to act swiftly as soon as they were aware that it was happening.”