Cooperative governance & traditional affairs minister Des van Rooyen is again seeking to block the release of the state capture report.
Ten days after withdrawing his urgent application to interdict the release of the public protector’s “state capture” report, Van Rooyen is again applying to halt its release.
In his application, the minister states that the interdict is only intended to prevent the finalisation and publication of the report to the “extent that it contains findings and recommendations concerning me”.
This follows a damning report in the Sunday Times, in which the minister is alleged to have visited the influential Gupta family seven times in the days before he was appointed as finance minister in December last year.
The visits were revealed during the probe into alleged state capture by the family, the paper reported.
Detailing the reasons for the change of heart regarding the interdict in his founding affidavit, Van Rooyen said it seemed as if assurances given to him by the previous public protector appeared false.
“I was lulled into a false sense of security by the assurances given to me by the previous public protector and her apparent acceptance of the principle of audi alteram partem. What is more, none of the implications contained in the Sunday Times report were revealed to me by the previous public protector nor was I asked to comment on such implications,” the court papers state.
The publication of adverse findings against him which he had not had a reasonable opportunity to rebut would cause grave damage to his reputation, Van Rooyen states.
“Newspaper reports critical of me are one thing but a binding finding by the public protector is another. While I could conceivably ignore the former, I cannot ignore the latter.”
Van Rooyen will also apply to have the report “reviewed and set aside insofar as the report implicates the applicant directly or indirectly or creates any inference concerning the applicant”.