Thuli Madonsela rejects demand to withhold Nkandla report

2013-11-08 15:16

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela rejects the state’s demand that she refrains from releasing her interim report on the probe into upgrades made to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home, the North Gauteng High Court heard today.

This follows Cabinet’s security cluster’s application to interdict Madonsela from releasing the secret report to affected parties, including DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, who lodged the complaint.

Madonsela’s lawyer, Stefan Maritz, told the court that Madonsela had instructed him not to accede to the state’s demand that she withhold the report from affected parties.

But Madonsela, according to Maritz, undertook not to release the report until the matter was heard in court because this was part of an agreement she had struck with the state.

Today, the security cluster bought itself a week’s time to go through Madonsela’s report into the Nkandla upgrades.

In its filling affidavit, the state indicated that it wanted Madonsela to refrain from releasing the report until next Friday, November 15.

But it was unclear why the state approached the court when Madonsela had already extended the cluster’s deadline to study the 300-page report from Wednesday this week to today.

The state got what it wanted this afternoon when the urgent interdict, which was heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, was postponed to November 15 to allow for Madonsela to file her answering affidavit.

The cluster was meant to report back to Madonsela today about any concerns it may have had regarding the release of the report to affected parties.

But the cluster, comprising the departments of justice, state security, police, defence and Home Affairs among others, responded with court papers.

Before the case started this afternoon, the state’s lawyers – William Mokhari and Anthea Platt – struck an agreement with Maritz to postpone the matter and allow Madonsela to file her answering affidavit.

Within five minutes, Judge Sulet Potterill had signed the order, which also reserved costs.

The gist of the state’s application was to buy more time to study the report to determine whether there are any issues in the report that would compromise Zuma’s security or that of his executive.

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