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S. African court blasts Zuma, orders `state capture' inquiry to proceed

15 December, 2017, 08:50 | Author: John Swanson
  • S. African leader to appeal ruling on prosecutions boss

One of the most delicious - or sour, depending on your view - political ironies at the moment is Jacob Zuma's use (some might say abuse) of the judicial system to further delay him accounting for his actions ... actions which have got the country into the mess it is in. In that event, the ruling will be delayed until the appeal is heard and a decision made. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said in November previous year that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng should set up the inquiry because the president had a conflict of interest.

In the judgment, Zuma was held personally liable for the costs of his legal challenge, as well as his aborted application to halt the report from being released.

In November past year, after Zuma failed to block its contents from being made public, Madonsela's report was released. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

Zuma had argued that the public protector had overstepped the mark in terms of the Constitution‚ which gives the president sole authority over composing a judicial commission of inquiry.

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"The allegations. detailed in the report are extremely serious", Mlambo said.

It ordered Zuma's deputy Cyril Ramaphosa to appoint a new prosecutions boss within 60 days.

"The president shall submit a copy [of the eventual report], with an indication of his intention regarding the implementation to Parliament, within 14 days of releasing the report", Mlambo added.

Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane, who was at the court, welcomed the ruling.

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The president indicated last week that he would appeal the judgment.

The judge found that Zuma was compromised, and had a "clear personal interest in the outcome of the inquiry", and was at the center of the state capture report.

Her 355-page report, titled "State of Capture", stopped short of asserting that crimes had been committed, saying the watchdog lacked the resources to reach such conclusions and recommended that they be investigated by a judicial inquiry.

Just days before, the same court ruled that Zuma's appointment of a state prosecutor to decide whether to reinstate corruption charges was not valid and should be immediately set aside.

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