Media Statement on Gauteng High Court’s Judgement on President Zuma’s
State of Capture Report Review.
Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana
The South African Council of Churches (SACC) welcomes the judgement
of the Gauteng High Court dismissing President Jacob Zuma’s stand
against the remedial action of the Public Protector.
The President is now required to establish, without delay, the
prescribed Judicial Commission of Enquiry by a judge selected by the
Chief Justice, to investigate allegations of State Capture. Government
must now act speedily not just to establish a commission of enquiry, but
also to bring to justice all those implicated in corruption, those who
have undermined our constitution and betrayed the trust bestowed on us
by the founders of our democracy.
We urge the President not to extend the litigation through an appeal
against this ruling. Even though he may be legally entitled to that, it
is not the ethically correct thing to do.
Beyond the urgent requirement for the Judicial Commission, there is
the inexplicable failure of the justice system to act on the available
prima facie evidence of State Capture, both as covered in the State of
Capture report, and in the numerous revelations that have been washing
through the public domain in emails, the parliamentary enquiry into
Eskom and several accounts of impropriety.
We are very concerned about the failure of Government to act in the
best interests of the public. Instead there seems to be a greater
commitment to protect the personal interests of the President. We are
appalled at the failure of Government to appreciate that the President
cannot act on matters that affect him directly. The Public Protector’s
instruction for the Chief Justice to select the judge was the right
thing to do, and to second-guess that is indeed reckless, as the Judge
pronounced. This recklessness is letting evil abound in the State.
Why should the pursuit of wrongdoing in State Capture become a matter
for citizen-led private prosecutions because of the failure of State
justice instruments? We urge the State to act, to pursue and be seen to
be pursuing cases with clear evidence of criminal acts of corruption and
fraud. Do we or do we not have a prosecutorial system that serves the
public interests rather than the personal interests of the President and
his inner ring fingered in the Public Protector’s report? We charge
that President Zuma’s personal interests are not South Africa’s National
Interests for which our justice and prosecutorial services are
intended. The crimes committed in the corrupt shenanigans of State
Capture must be prosecuted without delay.
Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana is General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches.