National 19.6.2017 12:53 pm

Mkhwebane to oppose Zuma’s state capture legal challenge

Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Gallo Images

Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane. Picture: Gallo Images

The main issue remains that the president wants to pick the chair of the judicial inquiry, not leave it up to the chief justice.

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has indicated in a press conference in Pretoria on Monday that she still intends to oppose President Jacob Zuma’s review of her predecessor’s State of Capture report.

The report was released in November after Zuma unsuccessfully tried to stop it being made public.

Mkhwebane gave notice five months ago that she would indeed oppose Zuma’s ongoing legal challenge, saying the reason for this was to comply with court rules. She said at the time that she was seeking legal advice.

The public protector will also be opposing applications brought by ministers Mosebenzi Zwane and Des van Rooyen in the same matter.

In December, the president lodged an application at the High Court in Pretoria to review and set aside the remedial action in the State of Capture report.

In his founding affidavit, Zuma said the remedial action was unlawful as it allegedly did not respect the separation of powers doctrine. Zuma’s lawyers also argued it was unconstitutional for the public protector to tell the president to set up a judicial commission and decide who should chair it within 30 days.

Despite the clear conflict of interest in allowing Zuma to pick the person who will be investigating him, Zuma does not want Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng to be able to appoint a judge to chair the commission.

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