South African president, Jacob Zuma, has written to the Public protector regarding the leaking of an audio contained in the ‘State Capture’ report to a local media outlet. The audio recording was leaked to the television channel ENCA.
According to a statement from the presidency, the latest move is to seek clarity from the Public Protector on its institutional policy regards the release of audio recordings during its investigations.
The audio in question was a meeting between Zuma and the immediate past Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, during part of the high profile corruption probe that accused the Gupta family of influencing decisions taken by the government.
I’m not scared of jail. I’ve been to jail during the struggle.
The statement read in part, ‘‘The Presidency has lodged a complaint with the Office of the Public Protector regarding the leaking of an audio recording of the discussions that took place during the meeting between President Jacob Zuma and the former Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, during her investigation into allegations of state capture, which was released on November 2016 as the State of Capture Report.’‘
The new Public protector, Busisiwe Mkhwebane, was ordered by a court to release the released the report last week. The report uncovered evidence of corruption in the probe and has referred the matter to public prosecutors for action.
It further recommended the President to appoint a commission of inquiry headed by a judge selected by the Chief Justice within 30 days. Thuli Madonsela said the commission should present its findings and recommendations to the president within 180 days.
The probe found, amongst other things, the board at South African electricity provider, ESKOM was not properly appointed. Zuma and the Guptas have denied the allegations. The opposition have however hinted a vote of no confidence in the president.
Zuma told supporters over the weekend that he wasn’t scared to go to prison because he had been incarcerated during apartheid, in his first public appearance since the release of an anti-corruption report critical of him.
“I’m not scared of jail. I’ve been to jail during the struggle,” Zuma told a cheering crowd in his home Kwa-Zulu Natal province.