President Jacob Zuma said on Wednesday he had sought to block the Public Protector’s state capture report because he laboured under the misunderstanding that it was incomplete, and would decide once he had studied the contents whether to challenge the document.
The presidency said Zuma had gone to court to interdict former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela from releasing an interim report pursuant to her investigation into whether Zuma and other state officials had inappropriate links with the Gupta family and had breached the codes of ethical conduct.
“When the application was launched, it was not clear whether the investigation was finalised,” Zuma’s office said.
“The Public Protector has since clarified that the Report was signed and finalised by the former Public Protector on 14 October 2016.”
The presidency added that Zuma had withdrawn his high court bid to stop the release of the report “in the interests of justice and [a] speedy resolution of the matter”.
It added that all citizens had the right to fair and reasonable administrative justice and once the report was released Zuma would study it with care to see whether there was a need to return to the courts to ask that it be reviewed.
“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.”
The Pretoria High Court has ordered that the report be released by 5pm on Wednesday.
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