The final report on investigations into allegations of state capture by the wealthy Gupta family is in Speaker of Parliament Baleka Mbete’s safekeeping, outgoing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Friday.
“Clause B [of Friday’s High Court ruling by Judge Dawie Fourie] says the report shall be preserved and kept in safekeeping. That is not an interim report, that is my final report,” Madonsela said at a briefing at Public Protector House in Pretoria.
“We have given it to the Speaker of Parliament for safekeeping.”
Advocate Azhar Bham, for the Public Protector, told Judge Fourie that even though the report has been finalised and signed off, Madonsela had taken the decision not to release it on Friday “only as a courtesy to the court”.
Fourie issued a “preservation order”, which means the findings of the report cannot be public and the report has to be kept in “safekeeping”. He postponed the matter to November 1.
Opposition parties including the Congress of the People, Democratic Alliance, Economic Freedom Fighters and the United Democratic Movement had joined the court case, opposing Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Des van Rooyen’s applications to interdict Madonsela from releasing the report on state capture.
Madonsela had indicated that she would release the report on Friday, but has since said on advice from her legal team she would not be doing so.
Zuma and Van Rooyen have come under fire for interdicting Madonsela, with political parties and analysts accusing them of panicking and applying delaying tactics in the midst of possible damning findings.