DA leader Mmusi Maimane wants the new Public Protector to furnish him with a copy of the state capture report.
Maimane has written to Busisiwe Mkhwebane asking for a copy of the report, which was completed and signed off by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela last week.
In March this year, Maimane requested Madonsela’s office to investigate the controversial Gupta family’s alleged capture of or influence over the state.
Madonsela was due to release the report on Friday which was also her last day in office, but held it back when President Jacob Zuma and Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen approached the courts seeking to interdict the release of the report.
Maimane said today Mkhwebane was bound by the Constitution and the Public Protector Act to release the report.
“As the complainant in this matter, I am entitled by law to be provided with a copy of this report, which has been completed according to outgoing Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela,” he said.
“Section 8(3) of the Public Protector Act states that ‘the findings of an investigation by the Public Protector shall, when he or she deems it fit but as soon as possible, be made available to the complainant and to any person implicated thereby’,” said Maimane.
Maimane said the Constitution also states that any report issued by the Public Protector should be open to the public unless exceptional circumstances require that a report be kept confidential.
“The report is complete, and there exists no reasonable justification to not furnish the complainant with the report – nevermind make it public as constitutionally mandated to.”
Maimane said Madonsela’s statement that the state capture report was final and could not be changed means that the current report should be handed over to the complainant.
“What has become clear is that the contents of this report are explosive. The fact that Jacob Zuma, and his lackey Des Van Rooyen, are seeking an interdict against the release of this report shows that the president is petrified as to what is contained in this report, and desperate to stop it from being made public,” said Maimane.
He said Zuma cannot be allowed to exercise undue influence over Mkhwebane in order to halt the report from being released.
“I submitted this complaint to the Public Protector because we are determined to end Jacob Zuma’s state capture and crony corruption. He would be engaging in the very activity this investigation sought to uncover,” added Maimane.
Meanwhile, Mkhwebane is expected to lead the Public Protector team this morning as it appears before Parliament’s Justice committee to which the Public Protector accounts.
The institution will be accounting for the 2015/16 financial year.