President Jacob Zuma will on Tuesday formally ask for a postponement of proceedings of the interdict he is seeking to prevent the Public Protector from releasing a report into state capture.
Zuma’s attorney Michael Hulley confirmed today that the application for a postponement was going ahead.
Zuma’s bid for a delay has prompted objections from the opposition, and has raised concerns that the release of the state capture probe should not become another protracted affair like the so-called spy tapes issue.
Hulley said that a substantive application for a postponement was being prepared to serve to the relevant parties and to court on Tuesday, the day the urgent application is due to be heard in the Pretoria High Court.
“As things stand, the matter is adjourned till then and that is when we will deal with it,” he said.
The state attorney had addressed a letter to parties who had sought to intervene in the application against the Public Protector, said Hulley.
First opposition parties and more recently former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor asked to intervene.
“As a courtesy, we advised of the intention to seek a postponement to see their attitude,” said Hulley.
One party had thus far responded that they would not consent to a postponement.
Hulley said it would be “disrespectful” to the process to indicate the reasons for the request of a postponement.
It has already been reported that the president seeks more time due to confirmation from the Public Protector’s office that the report was final, not a draft, and also because of Mentor’s application.
Referring to the spy tapes saga, which is at the centre of whether corruption charges against the president will be reinstituted, the DA’s James Selfe today said: “We are very worried about ‘Spy Tapes episode 2’ – where the name of the game is postpone and postpone and postpone.”
Opposition parties have written to the deputy judge president opposing an extension, he said.
The president applied for an urgent interdict days before Thuli Madonsela was due to release her state capture report on her last day in office earlier this month.
Zuma has argued that he needs more time to respond to the questions from the Public Protector when she compiled her report.
The new Public Protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, has said that she won’t oppose Zuma’s bid to interdict the report and will accept the court’s ruling.