Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
24 Oct 2017
10:32 am

Mentor: Zuma can’t appoint a judge to investigate Zuma

Citizen Reporter

In court papers, the former ANC MP argues Zuma is simply too intricately invested in the matter to assume his choice of the judicial chair will yield any fair outcome.

Vytjie Mentor. Facebook

Former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor has reportedly approached the Pretoria High Court in an application to dismiss President Jacob Zuma’s application to reserve his presidential powers to appoint a judge to investigate him.

The high court granted Zuma a stay to establish a judicial commission of inquiry until he is allowed to make representations that he would be prejudiced. If the president is unsuccessful, his powers may be curtailed, and Mogoeng Mogoeng could go ahead and appoint the judicial commission chairperson as per the public protector’s report.

The Star reports that together with the EFF, Mentor has filed papers arguing that the president was implicated in the report and should not have any role in the appointment of a judge. The case resumes today, and is scheduled to conclude on Thursday.

Mentor and EFF, whose court papers were filed on the 4th of October, both argue it is very unlikely a judge selected by Zuma will maintain impartiality during the trial. Also at question is the president’s conduct, with Zuma having lied about not being interviewed by former public protector Adv Thuli Madonsela and subsequently interdicting the report.

READ MORE: What happened when Gordhan was in London, according to Vytjie Mentor

“The Constitutional Court has recognised that the judicial officers may perform administrative tasks. This is provided that such tasks are not inconsistent with the judicial functions.

“Thus, the Constitutional Court has implicitly recognised that it is lawful for judges to perform administrative tasks not specifically provided for in the constitution, and where such tasks do not conflict with their judicial functions,” Mentor argued in the court papers.

She further argued the central principal that should guide the choice of who was a legible and competent authority to appoint the chairperson should be fairness.

“The president’s interests are clearly implicated by the State of Capture report. He is at the centre of the allegations regarding the Gupta family’s involvement in the appointment of Cabinet ministers.

“In addition, his sons’s business interests are also heavily implicated by the allegations regarding the award of contracts by SOEs [state owned entities] to Gupta-owned businesses … The direction that the chief justice select the judge … is therefore clearly rational. The president’s argument to the contrary must therefore be rejected,” Mentor said.


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