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S.African court blasts Zuma over graft inquiry report

15 December 2017, 05:03 | Jermaine Blake

S.African court blasts Zuma over graft inquiry report

DA leader Mmusi Maimane is seen during a press briefing held accross the street from the Union Buildings regarding government score cards 4 December 2017 Pretoria

Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo and judges Phillip Boruchowitz and Wendy Hughes found that Zuma was reckless and unreasonable when he made a decision to review Madonsela's report, in which she recommended that a commission of inquiry be established.

Judge Mlambo, however, said that the accusations "detailed in the report are extremely serious", and that Mr. Zuma had a "clear personal interest in the outcome of the inquiry", according to local news media reports.

"The President's persistence in continuing with the application [for an interdict against the Public Protector] amounts to abuse of judicial process", said Mlambo.

"What is his sole basis to appeal is the court order that as long as he's still the president, he will not be able to exercise his mandate to appoint and suspend THE NPA head".

Zuma has survived several votes of no-confidence in parliament.

"The commission of inquiry is to be given powers of evidence collection that are not less than that of the Public Protector", Mlambo ruled.

The business family of Indian origin is accused of having undue influence over Zuma's government, including power over the appointment of some cabinet ministers.

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A South African court on Wednesday reprimanded President Jacob Zuma as "seriously reckless" after he challenged the recommendations of the country's anti-corruption watchdog for a graft probe against him.

Zuma had tried to block the publication of the report arguing that he had not been granted enough opportunity to respond to the charges. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the party "welcomes" the judgment in relation to the remedial action, specifically relating to the appointment of the judicial commission of inquiry.

The president indicated last week that he would appeal the judgment.

The Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) has asked the Constitutional Court to hear the confirmation proceedings on the appointment of a new National Director of Public Prosecutions urgently.

Ms. Madonsela, who was in the courtroom on Wednesday, told reporters, "An allegation that the state has been captured in the interests of the president and his friends is an allegation that needs to be investigated". Zuma is appealing that ruling.

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