Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance is appalled but not particularly surprised at Jacob Zuma’s decision to appeal the unanimous full bench judgment of Gauteng North High Court rejecting Zuma’s application to review and set aside the Public Protector’s remedial action in the State of Capture report.
The remedial action ordered President Zuma to appoint a commission of enquiry into state capture, but ordered that the Chief Justice, and not the President, should choose the judge to preside over the commission. This follows the well-accepted legal principle that one cannot be the judge in one’s own matter.
Mr Zuma is following his own well beaten track of appealing anything or everything that goes against him in the courts. His grounds of appeal were well traversed by the Gauteng North High Court, and there is nothing original in them. He is simply playing for time; delaying the inevitable, and wasting the time of the courts. He clearly wants to delay the appointment of the commission for as long as possible, so that witnesses can forget, and evidence can be destroyed.
It is instructive that his decision to appeal appears to be at variance with a decision of his own conference, not even a week ago, to the effect that the commission should be appointed as soon as possible. Mr Ramaphosa, as the new president of the ANC, ought to reign Mr Zuma in. Mr Zuma is being reckless. He is undermining the reputation of the Presidency and provoking a showdown with the courts. And he is doing it on taxpayers’ money.
The DA will be opposing his leave to appeal, and if he is granted it, his appeal. We cannot allow this abuse of court processes to become a feature of the way the President gets away with things. We will once more seek a punitive, personal cost order against Mr Zuma.
State capture has bled South Africa dry. It is one of the worst chapters in our history. It institutionalised corruption, and it besmirched the reputation of the ANC. There is only one way that Mr Ramaphosa can both assert his authority and end this farce, and that is by recalling Mr Zuma from the position of President of the Republic.