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South Africa watchdog to oppose Zuma plan to block influence-peddling report

South Africa watchdog to oppose Zuma plan to block influence-peddling report

Jacob Zuma

South Africa’s Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane said on Monday that the country’s anti-corruption watchdog will oppose a bid by President Jacob Zuma to have a report on claims of influence-peddling by him and his government set aside.

Mkhwebane said: “Yes we will be opposing the judicial review application. But I think you’d know that we still finalising the process of collating all the evidence which is needed or which the President (Zuma) required – we avail in terms of rule 53. And we are still finalising the signature by various councils on the confidentiality clause. So we are at that stage.”

“I am opposing the review by the President, including the Minister Zwane and Minister van Rooyen’s applications because remember, they’ve also applied for judicial review to set aside the whole report,” she further said.

The report released by the Public Protector, a constitutionally-mandated watchdog in November, called for a judicial inquiry into allegations that Zuma, some cabinet members and some state companies acted improperly.

I am opposing the review by the President, including the Minister Zwane and Minister van Rooyen's applications because remember, they've also applied for judicial review to set aside the whole report.

In December Zuma, who has denied wrongdoing had asked the High Court to set the report aside.

In February, Mkhwebane said she was seeking legal advice on how to proceed on the issue.

On Monday she told a news conference her office would oppose Zuma’s application to have the report set aside.