PRETORIA, The High court in Pretoria has ruled that South African President Jacob Zuma must be held personally liable for the legal costs in the attempt to stop the release of the State of Capture report, a report by the former Public Protector (Ombudsman) into allegations of of the exercise of undue influence on top officials of the States by private parties, including a naturalized Indian family, the Guptas.
Judge President Dunstan Mlambo said Wednesday President Zuma’s litigation was a disregard of the Office of the Public Protector. President Zuma wanted the report sent back to the Public Protector’s office for re-investigation.
He also objected to the outcomes of the report, saying it was not based on factual findings and was rushed. At the hearing last month, Zuma’s legal team abandoned his request that the matter be referred to the Public Protector for further investigation.
The court’s decision has been welcomed by the various opposition political parties with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) joining the Democratic Alliance (DA) in welcoming the North Gauteng High Court’s decision to set aside President Zuma’s application.
In handing down his decision, Judge President Mlambo said Zuma should appoint a commission of inquiry into the State of Capture report within 30 days. The Chief Justice, and not Zuma, is to appoint a judge to head the inquiry.
EFF Secretary-General Godrich Gardee said: We welcome the judgment by the court and it vindicates the demand that the EFF has made in Parliament that Mr. Zuma should never address the Parliament, he is not honourable.
“Come the 2018 State of the Nation Address, hopefully the Nasrec conference of the ruling party will take a resolution that he should actually not come close to Parliament and address Parliament. The earlier he steps aside, the better for the country.
Congress of the People (COPE) leader Mosiuoa Lekota said the entire leadership of the ruling ANC is to blame for not recalling President Zuma.
The blame for this situation must be squarely placed before the entire leadership of the ANC, both for the first five years and the second five years that they have protected him. They themselves have failed to uphold the Constitution. This thing of the ANC believing that it is above the Constitution, they think they can allow him and themselves to do as they please with the tax-payers’ money.
The judgment also stipulated that the President should personally bear the costs of the litigation.
Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the main oppostion party, the Democratic Alliance, said Zuma should be prepared to pay from his own pockets should he decide to appeal the judgment.
The ANC has protected the President and the President has failed to lead. I will say that publicly because it is clear Jacob Zuma has never been interested in investigating State capture allegations,” he added.
“If he does appeal, I would doubt that another court would not be consistent to keeping to the cost order so it ought to be in his personal cost in this instance. So him and the Guptas, if they want to continue this racketeering business, they must then fund that legal case.
The ANC has welcomed the judgment of the North Gauteng High Court in relation to the Public Protector’s Remedial Action on the State of Capture Report; specifically the remedial action relating to the appointment of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
This ruling party said in a statement that the judgment brings the matter a step closer to the implementation of the the resolution adopted by the party’s national executive committee (NEC) which directed that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture be established without delay.
The ANC further said that a Judicial Commission of Inquiry is the only recourse in verifying the very serious allegations of State capture which threatens the integrity of South Africa’s democratically-elected government.
The statement further stated: The Judicial Commission of Inquiry will provide everybody with an opportunity to tell their side of the story. We therefore trust President Jacob Zuma will act in accordance with this judgment without delay in the interest of our country.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK