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A last-minute urgent application to court has been made to stop the handing over of part one of the state capture report, saying President Cyril Ramaphosa has been “implicated by many witnesses”.
In its court papers, nongovernmental organisation Democracy in Action asked the Johannesburg high court to hear it at 4pm on Monday “or as soon as counsel may be heard”.
Meanwhile, part one of the report is due to be handed to the president and released to the public on Tuesday afternoon.
The organisation has asked the high court to interdict the hand over pending part B of its case, in which it wants the court to order that the report be delivered to Deputy President David Mabuza.
Democracy in Action’s Thabo Mtsweni says in an affidavit that Ramaphosa was the deputy president of SA during the years investigated by the state-capture commission. He was also head of the ANC’s deployment committee and “played a role in the appointment of some of the leaders of state-owned enterprises, which were central to the state capture commission”.
Ramaphosa was the leader of government business as deputy president and on the interministerial committee of the “Eskom war room”, which was central to the commission, said Mtsweni.
There was also evidence led before the commission that Ramaphosa was “the shareholder” at Glencore, a contractor to Eskom, also “central” to some of the evidence led, he said.
He said Ramaphosa was “implicated by many witnesses during the commission, hence he is not best suited to receive the report”.
Mtsweni referred to the court case in which former president Jacob Zuma challenged the direction by former public protector Thuli Madonsela that the chair of the commission should be chosen by the chief justice because Zuma was personally implicated. The high court upheld Madonsela’s direction.
If the report was handed to Ramaphosa, it would go against the principles set out in that case, said Mtsweni, “as the report will be in the hands of the person implicated by the witnesses”.
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Published by Arena Holdings and distributed with the Financial Mail on the last Thursday of every month except December and January.