South Africa's Zuma seeks to appeal ruling on influence-peddling

South Africa's Zuma seeks to appeal ruling on influence-peddling

He also ruled that Zuma should personally pay the litigation costs, including one in which he had sought to halt the publication a year ago of the graft watchdog's scathing report linking him to the wealthy Gupta family.

President Jacob Zuma has launched an appeal against a Pretoria High Court judgment that reaffirmed former public protector Thuli Madonsela's "State Of Capture" report recommendations -- effectively delaying further the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry.

The main opposition Democratic Alliance party said Zuma is "simply playing for time" so that "evidence can be destroyed" before he appoints the commission of inquiry.

Zuma also sought to block the release of the report, entitled "State of Capture", which focused on allegations that Zuma's friends, the businessmen and brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh Gupta, had influenced the appointment of ministers.

It then fell to Abrahams, appointed by Zuma, to decide whether or not the NPA would pursue a case against him.

The court disagreed and confirmed that Zuma was to conflicted in the matter and could not be the one to appoint a judge.

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The court ruled at the time that "a branch of government vested with the authority to resolve disputes by the application of law should have been approached".

In its ruling last week, the court also reprimanded the president for being "seriously reckless" by defying the recommendations of the country's graft watchdog which proposed the judicial inquiry.

Zuma argues that he could appoint the commission because he would not be involved in instructing it what to investigate.

"In inquiring into the correctness of the remedial action in the review, the court erred in law in holding that 'the president was ill-advised and reckless in launching the challenge against the remedial action of the Public Protector", said Zuma in court papers.

The President argues that the court had erred in charging him for costs as he was not cited in his own personal capacity. "This also offends the the separation of powers doctrine", read Zuma's papers.

He said a simple punitive costs order wasn't appropriate because this would burden the taxpayer.


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