We must deal with 'perceptions and reality' of state capture

  • We must deal with 'perceptions and reality' of state capture

We must deal with 'perceptions and reality' of state capture

Upholding a recommendation by South Africa's corruption-fighting Public Protector, High Court Judge President Dunstan Mlambo said an application by Zuma challenging the inquiry was "ill-advised and reckless" and an abuse of the judicial process.

Madonsela released a report‚ titled State of Capture‚ in November a year ago concerning allegations of an improper relationship between Zuma‚ other state officials and the Gupta family.

The court ruling on Wednesday may well deepen sentiment among A.N.C. officials that it is time for a clear break with Mr. Zuma, even though he is scheduled to remain in office as president until 2019, despite an accumulation of corruption-related crises.

Zuma also sought to block the release of the report, entitled "State of Capture", which focused on allegations that Zuma's friends, the businessmen and brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, had influenced the appointment of ministers.

Zuma was also found to be personally liable for the cost of his legal challenge, as well as his aborted application to halt the report from being released. But as it stands, the president must now appoint a commission of inquiry into state capture within 30 days, and the judge presiding over the probe will be appointed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Madonsela had ordered an inquiry into allegations that the Guptas may have influenced the appointment of Cabinet members in Zuma's administration and received special treatment for a coal business linked to the family and Duduzane Zuma, the president's son.

The president claimed he had not been given an opportunity by the watchdog to respond to some of the allegations in its report.

But because of Zuma's conflict of interest in the matter, she said the judge presiding over the investigation should be appointed by the chief justice. In that event, the ruling will be delayed until the appeal is heard and a decision made.

The ruling African National Congress will choose its new leader, to replace embattled Jacob Zuma over the weekend. "We therefore trust President Jacob Zuma will act in accordance with this judgment without delay in the interest of our country".

"Zuma is not honourable", he said.

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota said the court's ruling was not "extraordinary".