The full bench of the high court in Pretoria has adjourned the hearing into the application by President Jacob Zuma to stop the release of the Public Protector’s report on state capture until 2.15pm on Tuesday.
This is to allow counsel for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen to serve papers to other parties in the application who seek the release of the report.
Although Van Rooyen filed an initial application on October 13 to oppose the release of the report‚ he later withdrew his application on October 21‚ saying he had been informed by the Public Protector that there was no adverse findings against him.
However‚ Van Rooyen launched another urgent application on Monday‚ seeking to stop the release of the report.
Van Rooyen wanted his application to be heard on Tuesday‚ at the same time as the applications to intervene by four opposition political parties and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor were heard.
Van Rooyen’s counsel Stephan du Toit SC on Tuesday asked the court for more time to file a response to the political parties‚ which‚ after receiving the second Van Rooyen application‚ sought to intervene.
Counsel for the United Democratic Movement and Congress of the People‚ Dali Mpofu SC‚ said the second Van Rooyen application amounted to a resuscitation of his previous application.
Mpofu said there was no basis to stand the matter down as the political parties dealt with the same issues in the previous application‚
Tembeka Ngcukaitobi‚ for the Economic Freedom Fighters‚ decried the way Van Rooyen brought his second urgent application without citing EFF as respondents.
“What they are now doing is to manipulate the processes of court on the basis that they are not ready. No party can come to court on an urgent basis and then ask for more time. These kinds of technical measures should not be made.”
Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo granted Du Toit until 2.15pm to respond to the intervening applications by opposition political parties.
The first order of business on Tuesday was for the court to determine who was before it‚ before hearing those applications.
The new Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane‚ in a note filed with the court on October 21‚ indicated she would abide by the decision of the court as she is not opposing any of the applications.
The report in question concerned 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.
Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela wanted to release it in her last day of office on October 14‚ but Zuma and Van Rooyen launched urgent applications to stop the release of the report.
This put a stop to the release of the report until the court hears Zuma’s application‚ together with the political parties’ applications to intervene.