Madonsela gives 'state capture' report to Speaker of Parliament for 'safe keeping'

2016-10-14 18:04
Thuli Madonsela (File, Beeld)

Thuli Madonsela (File, Beeld)

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Pretoria - Outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on state capture will be kept safe at the office of the Speaker of Parliament.

Madonsela told journalists on Friday that she had decided that the report should be kept at Baleka Mbete's office because she answered to the National Assembly.

"We voluntarily agreed because the report shall be preserved and kept in safe keeping," Madonsela said. 

The outgoing Public Protector was scheduled to brief the media on six reports, including the state capture report, on her last day in office. However, a move by President Jacob Zuma and Local Government Minister Des van Rooyen to interdict the release of the report delayed its publication.

Madonsela expressed her disappointment with Zuma and Van Rooyen, saying that without being cynical, she wondered, "if the time used to prepare for court would have been spent answering some of the questions".

Van Rooyen argued in court papers that he was only given 24 hours to respond to "adverse findings" against him, violating his constitutional rights to respond to the allegations.

'Matter had created so much fracture'

Madonsela said she decided not to release her state capture report based on good practice.

"An application or notice to apply for an interdict is not an interdict. I decided not to release because it is good practice."

She said it would not make sense to release the report while an application for an interdict against its release was still in progress.

She added that she was surprised when Zuma announced that he would be applying for a court interdict against the release of the report, saying that she had given Zuma and Van Rooyen enough time to respond to her questions.

"We agreed nicely after four long hours that we would meet on Monday. On Monday, I got an interdict. He (Zuma) did not come back to say I'm still not happy even though I answered," she told journalists.

She said it was necessary for a report on state capture to be investigated because the "matter had created so much fracture".

"It was necessary for he investigation to be done and be done fast," she said.

BLF protests outside Public Protector office

Meanwhile, outside Madonsela's office, members of the Black First Land First movement protested in an attempt to drown out Madonsela's last media briefing.

BLF members held placards reading "Hands off Hlaudi" and "Hands off Gupta's".

Police kept watch of as Madonsela continued with her briefing inside.

Earlier in court, Judge Dawie Fourier ruled that Zuma and Van Rooyen’s applications to interdict the report would be heard on November 1.

Van Rooyen's interdict hearing would merge with a separate bid by Zuma and be heard in the High Court in Pretoria on the same day.

The EFF, UDM and Cope were opposing this and would ask the court for an order to preserve the report.

The EFF earlier told the court it was concerned that the much-anticipated report might never be made public, as Madonsela was leaving office at the close of business on Friday.

Madonsela received a standing ovation from journalists after she concluded her press briefing.

Read more on:    public protector  |  thuli madonsela

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