South Africa watchdog delays Zuma Explosive graft report

Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi (L), Guinea-Bissau’s president Jose Mario Vaz (2nd row, L), Democratic Republic of Congo’s president Joseph Kabila (3-L), Congo’s president Denis Sassou Nguesso (6-L), Ivory Coast’s president Alassane Ouattara (7-L), Zimbabwe’s president Mugabi (8-L), Guinea’s president Alpha conde (9-L), Equatorial Guinea’s president Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (10-L), South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma (11-L), African Union (AU) chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma (C), Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma (12-R), Chad’s president Idriss Deby (11-R), Gabon’s president Ali Bongo Ondimba (10-R), Rwanda’s president Paul Kagami (9-R), Niger’s president Mahamadou Issoufou (8-R), Uganda’s president Yoweri Museveni (7-R), Liberia’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (3-R), Madagascar’s president Hery Rajaonarimampianina (2-R), Togo’s president Faure Gnassingbé (R) and other heads of State pose during a photo call before the official opening of the 27th African Union (AU) Summit in Kigali on July 17,2016. Renewed fighting in South Sudan that has claimed more than 300 lives dominated discussions at an African Union summit that opened July 17 in the Rwandan capital Kigali. A shaky ceasefire has held since late July 11 following the fighting that raged for four days in Juba, leaving hundreds dead and forcing 40,000 to flee their homes. / AFP PHOTO / CYRIL NDEGEYA

A potentially explosive report into corruption allegations against South African President Jacob Zuma will not be released on Friday as expected, lawyers said during last-minute court proceedings.

The investigation by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was to be unveiled in Pretoria, one day before she steps down from a job in which she has regularly clashed with the president.

Madonsela’s report probed allegations that Zuma allowed the wealthy Gupta family to have undue influence over government, even having the power to nominate cabinet ministers.

Zuma, 74, has survived a series of damaging scandals while in office, but has faced increasing criticism as the economy stalls and after the ruling ANC party suffered unprecedented losses in local polls.

Zuma and David van Rooyen, a minister implicated by the investigation, both launched court action to prevent the planned release of the report on Friday.

They have complained they were not given enough time to respond to Madonsela’s questions.

“Our client has taken the decision in the exercise of her discretion not to release the report (today),” a member of Madonsela’s legal team told the High Court in Pretoria.

Another court hearing on Zuma’s attempt to block the report is scheduled for Tuesday.

The president was last week quizzed by Madonsela as part of the probe.

Van Rooyen replaced trusted Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene in December, but was removed from the job after only four days, following a market plunge and political outrage.

Under Madonsela, the Public Protector’s office has gained a reputation as a formidable corruption buster, handing down scathing findings against Zuma, state agencies and public companies.

She leaves office after completing her non-renewable seven-year term.

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