Opposition parties urge court to hold Zuma to state capture promises

President Jacob Zuma has, in no uncertain terms, told Parliament that he would institute a commission of inquiry into state capture, the EFF told the high court in Pretoria on Tuesday afternoon.

“He should therefore not be allowed to, [at] this point in time, effectively attempt to undo an undertaking he made in the national assembly,” advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi told a full bench on behalf of the red party. “He should in fact be held to that undertaking.”

Zuma has asked the court to review and set aside then public protector Thuli Madonsela’s order that he establish an inquiry that would investigate, among other things, allegations relating to his own involvement in state capture.

Ngcukaitobi told the court Zuma had informed Parliament of “not just an intention, but a decision he had already made to appoint the judicial commission of inquiry”.

Ngcukaitobi also stressed the importance of the location where Zuma made those promises.

“It is not as if the President is talking to his friends. The President is talking to Parliament, the body he accounts to… When he makes that statement in Parliament it must be taken with the greatest level of seriousness.”

The EFF is opposing Zuma’s application for a review of Madonsela’s State of Capture report in part on the basis that he already preempted the legal action with his promise to establish the commission of inquiry Madonsela had ordered him to set up.

Shortly before the matter was adjourned until Wednesday, advocate Dali Mpofu told the court he would ask for structural relief against Zuma, on behalf of Cope and the UDM.

It is not enough to simply dismiss Zuma’s application, Mpofu said. “Something has to happen about this report” into state capture.

“We have probably one of the most important cases that is going to ever grace our courts,” Mpofu said. “It can never get worse than state capture. The whole state, captured.It can not get worse… than the head of that state being implicated in basically what amounts to criminal activity.”

Representatives of the DA, former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor, and the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) are all expected to argue against Zuma’s application on Wednesday.

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Phillip De Wet
Guest Author

Related stories


Subscribers only

Medical aids blame external costs as fees increase beyond inflation

Medical aid is becoming more of a luxury for many South Africans, and it’s not about to get any better

Mahikeng compounds its mess

The ailing town that wasted R2-billion appoints a municipal manager rated ‘basic’, the lowest level

More top stories

FUL mulls legal options regarding Hlophe’s presence at interviews for...

Premier Alan Winde and the Cape Bar Council asked that the interviews be postponed pending a decision on Hlophe’s fate but the JSC declined

Cape Town fire update: Mop-up operations underway, students receive local...

Clean-up operations and repairs to infrastructure are being initiated, while the full extent of the damage wrought by the fire is still being assessed

Bird flu outbreak puts poultry industry in jeopardy

Avian flu has been confirmed on two farms in Gauteng and one in North West

Absa chief executive resigns due to differences with board on...

Activist group warns of a ‘culling trend’ affecting black professionals in top positions

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…