Outgoing public protector Thuli Madonsela’s request to have the state capture report given to the speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, for safekeeping was turned down by Parliament on Friday.
Baleka Mbete, doesn’t recognise the gesture of being given Thuli Madonsela’s state-capture report for safekeeping. pic.twitter.com/Eupjxd2EZp
— Mail & Guardian (@mailandguardian) October 14, 2016
Madonsela had said earlier on Friday that she had handed Mbete the report into the Gupta family’s involvement in the state and the presidency.
Madonsela said that, in the past, her office had kept its reports inside its headquarters for safekeeping.
“It was mine to decide on the best place to have this report kept safe. Because I report to the National Assembly, the speaker of the National Assembly was the appropriate public [official] with whom to keep the report,” Madonsela said.
Parliament said in a statement Mbete had received a letter from Madonsela requesting that she keeps the state capture report safe.
“The speaker has an obligation in terms of the rules of the Assembly to table all documents received for the information of members, in order to ensure that the business of the Assembly is conducted in an open and transparent manner. This report however cannot be handled in the same manner,” the statement said.
“The report will accordingly be returned to the office of the public protector.”
In the final 48 hours of her term as public protector, Madonsela received notices from Zuma and Van Rooyen to prevent the state capture report being released.
Madonsela’s lawyers opposed Van Rooyen’s legal team on Friday at the North Gauteng High Court. While court was in session, the public protector’s legal counsel said the report would not be released.
The judge ruled, however, that Madonsela’s report must be preserved in its original form until it is released. There is also an agreement that the report will not be released until both Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des Van Rooyen and President Jacob Zuma’s interdict applications to halt the release of the report have been heard.