The High Court ruled on Wednesday ruled that President Jacob Zuma must set up a judicial inquiry into State Capture within 30 days and that Zuma is personally liable for litigation costs in trying to stop the release of the State of Capture report. Judge President Dunstan Mlambo said President Zuma’s litigation was a disregard of the office of the Public Protector and that the president’s conduct was “clearly objectionable … and amounts
to clear abuse of the judicial process”. The judge said Zuma’s application against the inquiry was “ill-advised and reckless” and an abuse
of the judicial process.
Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance
14 December 2017
The Democratic Alliance (DA) welcomes today’s ground-breaking judgment by the North Gauteng High Court, dismissing President Zuma’s spurious attempt to review the Public Protector’s State of Capture report, and its binding recommendations. This means that the report stands, and confirms that the President must at once establish a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into “State Capture” – as ordered to by the Public Protector. The commission must be headed by a judge selected by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, established within 30 days, and has 180 days to complete its work.
As the original complaint in this matter, we remain focused on ensuring the Judicial Commission of Inquiry is promptly established, and that the well-known allegations of “State Capture” are interrogated and investigated, and justice is served. The President cannot continue to shield himself, his friends, and his family from accountability.
Today was important victory for the rule of law, and the people of South Africa. This damning judgment by a court of law shows once again that Jacob Zuma is hell-bent on protecting himself, his cronies, and their interests – while breaking the law and trampling on the constitution. Jacob Zuma is unfit to lead and unable to adhere to the highest law of the land.
The Court also made several other substantial findings, including that the President’s conduct in trying to block the release of the Public Protector’s State of Capture Report was an “abuse of judicial process” and an attempt to “stymie the fulfilment of a constitutional obligation by the Office of the Public Protector”. As such, the Court ordered Zuma to personally pay the legal costs of his failed attempt to interdict the release of the State of Capture report in October 2016 – an historic move by the court. Zuma must also personally pay the costs of the review proceedings, which could total anywhere between R4 million and R6 million.
Significantly, the Court noted that President Zuma’s continued litigation in this matter was “unreasonable” and that various statements made resulted in an “irreconcilable contradiction”. The Court chose not to make any findings on whether perjury had been committed, as this was not their task on the day, but they ruled out the possibility of any typing errors, which might have excused the President’s inconsistencies.
Therefore the DA will be laying criminal charges of perjury against President Jacob Zuma tomorrow for his sinister attempt to mislead the courts, abuse judicial process, and ultimately undermine the law and the constitution of the republic. Zuma’s insinuation that this act of perjury was a “typo” is an insult to the courts, and to the people of South Africa.
The DA will brief the media on further action emanating from the judgment.