Madonsela confirms Van Rooyen interdict bid

2016-10-13 22:30
Des van Rooyen (File)

Des van Rooyen (File)

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Cape Town - Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has confirmed that Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen intends applying for an interdict to prevent the release of her exit report on the "state capture" investigation.

"Yes, it's true," Madonsela said simply when asked to confirm if she knew of Van Rooyen's intentions.

This follows a notice from President Jacob Zuma's lawyers that he got the go ahead for a similar application, set down to be heard on Tuesday.

Original story: Des van Rooyen also seeks to interdict Madonsela

Both will be heard at the High Court in Pretoria with van Rooyen's application set down for 10:00 on Friday.

Van Rooyen's spokesperson Legadima Leso said he had been inundated with calls following the News24 report that the application would take place and was trying to get information from Van Rooyen because he did not know anything about it.

In an interview with News24 on Tuesday Madonsela said she would release a short report on Friday, her last day at work before her successor Busisiwe Mkhwebane takes over.

Questions allowed

The latest developments are not the only surprise over the state capture investigation.

Madonsela said in the interview that Zuma claimed she was referring to his son when she was seeking information from him, but this goes against the content of a letter she sent him during her probe.

Last week her office stated that Zuma asked her to defer the investigation to the incoming protector who he had just formally announced.

It was agreed at that meeting that Zuma would answer a list of questions put to him and come back to her with the answers. Instead, he asked that he be allowed to question the witnesses.

Madonsela explained that this is allowed but interviews would be conducted by a Public Protector office official and not Zuma's lawyers.

The next step was Zuma's application for the interdict.

Earlier News24 editor Adriaan Basson reported that it now seems unlikely that Madonsela will release her report before she leaves office.

Challenging Madonsela's powers

She also explained on Tuesday that she is not investigating state capture, but allegations in a complaint her office received that wealthy industrialists the Guptas had benefited from proximity to certain high-ranking officials and may have had a hand in their appointment as Cabinet ministers. Also part of her investigation is whether the Executive Members Ethics Act had been violated.

Van Rooyen's application will challenge the powers of the Public Protector to summons him to answer certain questions.

Van Rooyen - a former mayor and ANC MP - was appointed Finance Minister by Zuma in December last year in place of Nhlanhla Nene – a move that wiped R500bn off the value of South African assets.

He lasted four days in the job, earning the nickname "Weekend Special" before he was replaced by Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan in turn was served a summons on Tuesday to appear in court on November 2 to be charged with fraud relating to payment of an early pension to former deputy SA Revenue Service commissioner Ivan Pillay. Former SARS commissioner Oupa Magashula and Pillay will appear in court with Gordhan.

Martin Madlala, spokesperson for Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, said that to his knowledge Zwane did not intend following suit. He has been accused of supporting the Guptas at a business meeting in Switzerland.

Read more on:    public protector  |  des van rooyen  |  thuli madonsela  |  politics

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