After outgoing public protector Thuli Madonsela released her final five reports from her term in office, she revealed that her final state capture report had been handed to the speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete.
There were some chuckles when Madonsela said the report into the Gupta family’s involvement in the state and the presidency had been handed to Mbete. There has been scepticism surrounding Mbete because of her perceived loyalty to President Jacob Zuma. Madonsela’s report investigates allegations that the Guptas benefited from lucrative deals in the state and appointed people to ministerial positions.
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
Madonsela quoted the decision made in court today regarding Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen’s application for an interdict. The judge said “the report shall be preserved and kept in safe keeping” until its release. Madonsela was expected to release a draft report on Friday, but decided not to after she received notice of intent to apply for interdicts.
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 Van Rooyen and Zuma’s interdict applications have been heard.
Van Rooyen’s legal team today asked that the matter be postponed until November 1 and the court agreed.