Opposition political parties have asked the court to order that the public protector’s report on state capture be released immediately.
The request was heard by the full bench of the High Court in Pretoria‚ which was meant to hear President Jacob Zuma’s application to stop the release of the report on Wednesday.
However‚ Zuma’s counsel‚ Anthea Platt SC‚ informed the court that she had received instructions to withdraw her client’s application.
Platt said she had also received instructions that she must also tender costs in line with the withdrawal.
Etienne Labuschagne SC‚ for the Democratic Alliance (DA)‚ requested that the court grants its application that the public protector should release the report.
Labuschagne also requested that the president pay the costs of the court application from his own pocket and not use public funds for that purpose.
The court was set to hear Zuma’s application and the applications by four political parties and a former African National Congress MP Vytjie Mentor to intervene in the matter.
However‚ Zuma’s withdrawal meant there was no opposition to the release of the report.
Dumisa Ntsebeza SC‚ for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)‚ said the party was asking for the release of the report forthwith.
The report is the result of an investigation into complaints regarding alleged improper and unethical conduct by Zuma or any other persons related to an alleged improper relationship with the Gupta family.
The court on Tuesday afternoon had granted the DA‚ EFF‚ the Congress of the People and the United Democratic Movement leave to intervene in the Zuma application. The court also granted Mentor leave to intervene.
The court on Tuesday also dismissed an application by Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen to apply to stop the release of the report. The court held that his application was not urgent.
Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane also launched an urgent application to stop the release of the report‚ but his advocate Rafik Bhana told the court on Tuesday that his client had set down the matter to be heard next week.
Bhana said the matter was not ripe for hearing together with Zuma’s application.
The report under dispute was finalised by Madonsela and she intended to release it on her last day in office on October 14‚ before Zuma and Van Rooyen launched urgent applications to stop its release.
— TMG Digital