It is in the interest of President Jacob Zuma to account for what he knows regarding the allegations of state capture which had been forwarded to him in March‚ the public protector says.
Thuli Madonsela was reacting to a statement from the Presidency‚ issued on Monday.
It relates to the public protector’s investigation into the alleged involvement of the Gupta family in the dismissal and appointment of cabinet ministers and members of the boards of directors of state-owned enterprises.
The Presidency said Zuma had written to the public protector requesting her to allow him to question other witnesses‚ who have appeared before the public protector.
“Furthermore‚ the president would want to exercise his right to question some of the witnesses before responding to the written questions and adducing evidence‚” the presidency said.
“The public protector would like to report that President Jacob Zuma was afforded a proper opportunity to tender his evidence since 22 March 2016.
“President Zuma was on Saturday‚ October 1‚ 2016‚ given all copies of evidence implicating him‚” the public protector said in a statement issued on Monday night.
She said his lawyer raised a request to question witnesses for the first time last Thursday‚ when he was asking for a deferment of the investigation to the next public protector.
She said the Executive Members’ Ethics Act required an investigation regarding possible violations of the Executive Ethics Code to be concluded within 30 days.
“It is of concern to the public protector that the president has on two occasions undertaken to answer questions and when the time arose‚ he changed his mind.”
She appealed to Zuma to assist with any information he has that can assist the investigation‚ primarily‚ by answering the questions put to him.
Madonsela’s term as Public Protector ends on Friday.