Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation. This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.
On the face of it this does not seem like a significant victory for the NPA in building a solid case against Mr Zuma because they already have a copy of the diary in dispute which was accepted as evidence in the Shaik trial. But maybe there are other documents among the one’s requested that we have not been told of and that will help the state.
In any case, it seems clear that Mr Zuma will be recharged by the NPA later this year and that he will therefore be a defendant in a criminal trial at the time of the ANC conference in Polokwane in December.