South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma has asked for a postponement of a court hearing of the State Capture report by the immediate past public protector, Thuli Madonsela.
The president’s push for a postponement of the hearing scheduled for November 1 according to media reports, is to afford him time to prepare for the case.
The president’s request comes on the heels of a move by a former Member of Parliament of the ruling Africa National Congress (ANC) party Vytjie Mentor to oppose Zuma’s bid to block the release of the report.
Zuma blocked the release of the State Capture report just before Madonsela stepped down as the country’s Public Protector.
He had tried to frustrate the investigation by demanding that Madonsela granted him legal representative access to question the witnesses in the investigation. Madonsela declined the request and instead offered to provide the President with questions to which he would be required to respond with an affidavit under oath.
President Zuma never answered questions sent by Madonsela, saying he had not been given enough time to do so, reports Business Live.
It is not yet clear if the other parties to the case, the opposition DA, EFF, UDM and COPE would agree to the postponement.
Thuli Madonsela’s report was an investigation into whether there was an inappropriate relationship between president Zuma, the wealthy Gupta family and other state officials.
Mentor is said to have filed an affidavit on Tuesday in which she confirmed that the Gupta family had offered her a cabinet position in exchange for furthering their business interests.
Both the Gupta family and president Zuma have denied any wrongdoing.
The public protector’s office is holding on to the release of the State Capture report, pending the outcome of the court case.