And were I her, in pondering on my dilemma as to whether or not I should release the interim report on state capture, my decision would be guided by my answers to the following three questions:
- Am I still the Public Protector with the authority to release my interim findings? Patently yes, but only for today.
- Am I prevented in law from releasing this interim report? No, there is no interdict, but there is a plan to bring one against me to do so. Or is there really? Could that intention dissipate once I am no longer the Public Protector, once my powers to release the report in my official capacity have ended? Some might accuse me of flouting the intention of the law, since a notice of intention to apply for an interdict has been lodged.
Mmm, this does muddy the waters a tad.
- Finally, is what I know contained in this report real, compelling and sincerely significant enough for the public to have a vested interest in the contents thereof? And furthermore, will this content stand the scrutiny of the courts and future possible enquiries that may emanate therefrom?
If the strength of my conviction in answering the third question is resoundingly positive, any haziness emanating from question two might be sufficiently removed. And while I am still officially fulfilling my role as the Public Protector, it is my duty to ensure the public is exposed to matters of a serious nature that affect them.
Under such conditions, I would release the report. For if I don’t, there is a chance that this report may never see the light of day. DM