Zuma costs order likely to be decided on written submissions

2016-11-14 22:10
President Jacob Zuma. (File, City Press)

President Jacob Zuma. (File, City Press)

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Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma's application against personally paying the costs of his bid to keep the public protector's State of Capture
report under wraps will probably be decided on written submissions.

State attorney Isaac Chowe explained on Monday that the matter was likely to be adjudicated on the supplementary heads of argument the parties were asked to file.

If the court wanted certain points clarified, they would be asked to present oral argument. Otherwise, they would be called to chambers to hear the decision once it had been made.

Until then, the parties would wait to hear from the court.

Zuma's lawyer Anthea Platt filed papers in the High Court in Pretoria last week, asking that it not order him to pay out of his own pocket.

Zuma withdrew his application against the release of the public protector's report at the last minute on November 2. It was published on the public protector's website later that day, as ordered by the court.

On former public protector Thuli Madonsela's last day of office on October 14, Zuma applied to have the report kept private on the grounds that he had not been given a chance to respond to her questions.

Under new Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's watch, the transcript of a four-hour interview Madonsela had with Zuma and his lawyer Michael Hulley was published on the public protector's website, along with the report.

Three complaints

The investigation followed three complaints to the office. Madonsela investigated whether there had been any truth to claims that the Gupta family had offered Cabinet positions in key ministries. This is Zuma's job.

In her papers, Platt argued that Madonsela's investigation was aimed at the exercise of the president's duties as a member of government and so the State attorney was obliged to work on his behalf.

She said there was no evidence to suggest that Zuma violated the Executive Member's Ethics Act - an aspect which Madonsela and her team had probed.

She said the State attorney should recover its costs from the office of the president.

“We submit therefore that the president should not be mulcted (to extract money from someone as a fine or tax) with a costs order to be paid by him personally.”

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  state of capture report

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