A South African judge has ordered the release of a state report on corruption in President Jacob Zuma’s administration. The judge issued the order Wednesday after Zuma dropped a legal bid to stop the report from becoming public.
President Jacob Zuma surprised everyone, including the judges, when his legal team said it would withdraw his application to halt release of a report on corruption allegations.
The report was compiled by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, following allegations that Zuma had allowed the wealthy Gupta family to appoint Cabinet ministers of their choice in pursuit of their business interest.
On Tuesday, Zuma’s legal team fought fiercely in court to block four opposition parties who wanted to be admitted as intervening parties in the case but the court ruled in favor of the parties.
Then on Wednesday the president dropped his case, bringing jubilation to the opposition.
“We can proceed with making sure that we hold Jacob Zuma to account. It’s time now that we take deliberate action as the people of our country,” said Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the Democratic Alliance party.
Zuma’s decision was also cheered by thousands of opposition supporters who marched in Pretoria on Wednesday, calling on the president to step down.
One protestor, Mary Van Vyk, wants to see both Zuma and the executive committee of the ruling ANC party resign.
“Zuma must fall, the NEC must fall today. He is the Tsotsi number one of our country, he is ruining our country. He is stealing our money. They must fall,” she said.
Meanwhile the court has ruled that the report be released by the public protector’s office on Wednesday.
The nation is eager to know what the report contains. Several senior government officials and members of the ANC have said the Gupta family have offered them cabinet posts on condition they make decisions favorable to their business interests.
Dali Mpofu, chairperson of the left-wing Economic Freedom Fighters party, said the information in the report could be the final blow to Zuma’s rule.
“Any proof that he has abdicated his presidential functions to a private party will show that he is not fit for office,” said Mpofu.
And the thousands who marched in Pretoria agree.