Mkhwebane opposes Zuma's review bid on State of Capture report

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during Monday's press briefing. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane during Monday's press briefing. (Oupa Nkosi, M&G)

Public protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane announced on Monday that her office will oppose President Jacob Zuma’s application for a review of the State of Capture report’s recommendations on a judicial inquiry.

The announcement comes six months after Zuma filed an application at the high court in Pretoria. In February, Mkhwebane said that she was waiting for a legal opinion before she decided whether or not to oppose Zuma’s application. On Monday, she announced that the office had made its decision although it was still organising evidence.

“Yes, we will be opposing the judicial review application but I think you know that we still finalising the process of collating all the evidence which is needed or which the president require we avail in terms of Rule 53,” Mkhwebane said.

The public protector said she is not politically motivated or “captured”. Her utterances come amid speculation that Mkhwebane was closely tied to Zuma factions. The Economic Freedom Fighters said it had made a “terrible mistake” in approving her to assume office. The Sunday Times has also reported that her office has four pending reports on Gupta allegations with no release date in sight.

Zuma is asking the court to review former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendation that a judicial inquiry should be established to investigate state capture and that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, rather than Zuma, appoint the judge to sit on the commission.

In his affidavit, Zuma challenged the recommendation that Mogoeng appoint a judge because it “violates the rule of law that it is inconsistent with the Constitution and breaches the separation of powers principle”. 

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