Presidency statement on the court decision on the Public Protector report

President Jacob Zuma launched an application in the North Gauteng High Court seeking to interdict the Public Protector from publishing an interim report pursuant to an investigation into complaints of improper and unethical conduct by the President and/or officials of state organs due to the alleged inappropriate relationship with members of the Gupta family.

The basis of the application, as originally contended, was that the President was not afforded a reasonable opportunity to provide meaningful input into the investigation and asked the court to be given an opportunity to do so.

In short, the President contended that:

o He has a right to be provided with incriminating evidence before he answers the questions posed to him.

o He is entitled to question witnesses, as determined by the Public Protector, which witnesses appeared before the Public Protector.

When the application was launched, it was not clear whether the investigation was finalised. The Public Protector has since clarified that the Report was signed and finalised by the former Public Protector on 14 October 2016.

The Constitution provides that everyone has the right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair.

In the interest of justice and speedy resolution of the matter, the President decided to withdraw his application. The President will give consideration to the contents of the report in order to ascertain whether it should be a subject of a court challenge.

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa.

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