President Jacob Zuma cannot take control over the functioning of the commission of inquiry into state capture allegations because he is personally implicated in the matter.
This is an argument brought by the Public Protector in the application by the Democratic Alliance before the Pretoria High Court seeking the court to declare that Zuma has failed to comply with the protector’s remedial action to set up a commission of inquiry.
The DA has asked the High Court to force Zuma to comply with former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings because he did not apply for a stay of execution before he took the remedial action on judicial review.
The Public Protector is the second respondent in the application.
Zuma is opposing the application and has asked the court to review the remedial action.
In her remedial action‚ Madonsela directed that a commission of inquiry into the allegations of state capture be conducted and that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng appoint the sole judge to preside over the commission.
Zuma is arguing that this is unconstitutional because only the president can establish a judicial commission of inquiry.
Hamilton Maenetje SC for the Public Protector‚ however‚ argued: “Any involvement of the president in the aspects of the appointment and functioning of the commission that he seals through his review application would be in breach of Section 96 of the Constitution.
“This is because he is personally implicated in the allegations to be investigated by the commission and has an avoidable financial or personal interest in the resolution of those allegations.”
Maenetje conceded with the DA that if Zuma was not happy with the Public Protector’s remedial action‚ he should have obtained a court order.
“If you don’t ask the court to excuse you from complying‚ you are taking the law into your own hands.”
According to the Public Protector‚ it is in the public interest that the allegations of state capture be properly investigated “urgently and determined as soon as possible”.
Source: TMG Digital.