Madonsela warns Zuma not to appeal court ruling

South Africa High Court orders President Jacob Zuma to set up influence inquiry

In the ruling meted out earlier in the day, the full bench of the court gave Zuma 30 days to appoint a judicial commission of inquiry into "state capture", to be headed by a judge appointed by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.

Mlambo said the president's actions amounted to an abuse of the judicial process. "We welcome it and ultimately (Zuma) must stop delaying South Africans‚" DA leader Mmusi Maimane said in court after the scathing judgment on Wednesday.

"The president had no justifiable basis to simply ignore the impact of this corruption on the South African public", he said.

Ramaphosa, the main rival for the ANC leadership to former African Union chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is Zuma's favoured candidate and ex-wife, has recently stepped up criticism of Zuma's scandal-plagued government.

On the president's contention that there was a typing error, Mlambo suggested that President Zuma's subsequent statements nullified that claim.

The influence-peddling inquiry was recommended in a report released a year ago by the Public Protector, the country's anti-graft agency.

South Africa High Court orders President Jacob Zuma to set up influence inquiry
S/African court rules against Zuma in state capture report

In a separate case, Judge Mlambo also ruled that Mr Zuma had been unreasonable in trying to use the courts to block the publication of an explosive official report into high-level corruption, known as state capture.

Madonsela made the recommendation in her report on investigations into whether Zuma's friends, the controversial Gupta family, had undue influence on the executive.

"The judgment lays out a timeline. we hope to get to the bottom of this", Maimane said, adding that his party would oppose any appeal in the case should Zuma launch one.

Zuma argued that he has the sole right to institute a commission of inquiry and that the Public Protector can not instruct him what to do, and how to do it. He said it was clear that Zuma had no intention of investigating state-capture allegations‚ but as a leader he was the first person expected to take action.

Ordering Zuma to pay the costs of the latest court challenge, Mlambo, the chief justice, said the president's conduct was "clearly objectionable. and amounts to clear abuse of the judicial process".

He has also faced allegations that his close links to the family have been used to influence the appointment of key ministers. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

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