DA in bid to force Zuma to institute state capture inquiry

2016-12-05 09:42
(Public Protector's office)

(Public Protector's office)

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Johannesburg – The DA will not only oppose the president’s application to have the Public Protector's State of Capture report set aside, but will also approach the Constitutional Court to force him to appoint an inquiry.

“We will file papers today to compel President Jacob Zuma to appoint a commission of inquiry immediately,” DA federal chairperson James Selfe said on Monday.

Last week Zuma filed an application with the high court to have the report, compiled by former public protector Thuli Madonsela, reviewed and set aside.

He said it was not the public protector’s role to get involved in the terrain of the executive.

Madonsela was looking into allegations of an improper relationship between the president and the influential Gupta family in relation to key appointments in his Cabinet and the awarding of contracts at state owned enterprises.

The former public protector said she didn’t have the necessary resources to finish her investigation into state capture and recommended a judicial inquiry, which was to be appointed by the president. However she said Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng should be tasked with choosing a judge to head up the commission.

Premature

“It’s insufficient to give notice of a review,” said Selfe.

The Nkandla judgment obliged Zuma to carry out remedial action unless it’s set aside, and that was not done in this matter, Selfe said.

The DA chairperson said the party would approach the Constitutional Court because the matter fell under its exclusive jurisdiction.

“It’s about the powers of the public protector and those of the president,” he told News24.

Constitutional law expert Professor Marinus Weichers said he believed the DA raised a valid point in saying the public protector’s remedial action is binding, but felt the party’s bid was premature.

“The Constitutional Court is generally hesitant if lower courts have not decided on it yet,” said Weichers.

He said he did not believe the DA's bid would succeed.

“Zuma is at the lower courts, the ConCourt might just say let’s wait and see how that goes.”

Read more on:    public protector  |  da  |  james selfe  |  jacob zuma  |  state capture report  |  state capture  |  politics

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