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Thuli Madonsela: ‘Zuma knew of his relationship with Zondo and didn’t object’

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says If we don’t ensure the state capture report is implemented, 'we have state capture 2 loading'. File photo.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela says If we don’t ensure the state capture report is implemented, 'we have state capture 2 loading'. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander/Sunday Times

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela has weighed on former president Jacob Zuma’s plan to report chief justice Raymond Zondo to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) over “unlawful comments” in the state capture inquiry report. 

The fifth and final report was handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa last week following several delays.

The report found Zuma was at the centre of a vast conspiracy to capture the state for the benefit of the Gupta family and officials who stood to benefit. 

It recommended law enforcement agencies investigate Zuma and his son Duduzane for their alleged roles in state capture.

Speaking at a media briefing after the report’s release, spokesperson for Zuma’s foundation Mzwanele Manyi said the former president will take the report on judicial review and report Zondo to the JSC for misconduct.

Manyi said Zuma had instructed his legal team, led by advocate Dali Mpofu, to take Zondo’s final state capture report on review.

“The parts being taken on review are the parts that refer to him, but he is saying these are fruits of a poisoned tree, he is saying the whole thing is rotten, unlawful and was wrong from the start. It violated the constitution,” said Manyi.

Reacting to the comments, Madonsela said Zuma knew of his relationship with Zondo and didn’t object. 

“Let’s not forget [former] president Zuma had an opportunity from 2016 to 2018 to review the public protector directive that the chief justice select the state capture commission chairperson but chose not to do so. He knew of his relationship with Zondo and didn’t object,” said Madonsela.

“Can we be taken into confidence on why [former] president Zuma appointed then deputy chief justice Zondo to head the commission, knowing then they had what he regarded as a close relationship? Why did he not disclose this relationship to [former] chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng,?” she asked.

Madonsela said South Africans need to keep their eyes on the ball to ensure justice for state capture.

“Beware of dead cats, SA. Keep your eyes on the ball to ensure justice for state capture. This we owe to ourselves, each other, our children and generations to come. If we don’t ensure the state capture report is implemented, we have state capture 2 loading,” she said. 

The Sunday Times reported Zuma distanced himself from his own appointment of Zondo as commission chair, saying his hand had been forced. 

“At the time president Zuma was not given a choice. Advocate Madonsela did not give anybody any choice. She said in her report [former] president Zuma must not be the one selecting the judge, even the judge who must give him the name must give him one name,” Manyi claimed.

“His hand was forced into this thing. He was forced, he did not sign voluntarily. He knew this is breaking the law. He knew the constitution of the country does not allow this.

“He tried to raise this and everybody was up in arms.”

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