Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says she is not completely pleased with her State of Capture report released on Wednesday, saying unlike her previous reports, she wasn’t able to make findings on alleged improper and unethical conduct by President Jacob Zuma and his friends, the controversial Gupta family.
ALSO READ: Zuma survives because we aren’t united
This week, Madonsela said Zuma’s “successful strategy” of refusing to answer questions posed to him during a four-hour-long interview on October 6 was frustrating and he acted in “bad faith”. Particularly concerning for Madonsela was the presence of his lawyer Michael Hulley, who made the interview testing by interrupting her several times when she was questioning Zuma.
She is also puzzled by the president’s argument that he wasn’t accorded a fair process by her during the high stakes probe. But according to transcripts of the interview released, along with the report, Zuma clearly didn’t want to respond to her questions.
“I still think that no judge would find against me, but the legal process is not an exact science. You cannot say it will go the way you want. The one thing those processes succeeded in doing was that I withdrew some of my findings I had made, so it was a successful strategy.
“There were findings we were considering, but at the end of the day, we could not make them. I gave him the opportunity to answer my questions. I made it easier for him by giving him the questions in advance.
“He gave me an undertaking that he would answer those questions, and on that Monday he chose not to answer those questions and never came back to me. Instead, he rushed to court. For me that was acting in bad faith.”
Should Zuma opt to take her report for review, Madonsela said she would consider being an applicate in the matter as an intervening party because she, like any other citizen, was concerned about government officials evading accountability.
She also said she had to make compromises to minimise the possibility of a successful review.
LISTEN: Madonsela’s frustrating interview with Zuma