Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

South Africa: A Court Order Gives Zuma's Rivals More Ammunition

Constitutional Court of South Africa Constitutional Court of South Africa
Wallace Pearson | 01 January, 2018, 03:16

Madonsela found that Zuma had derived undue benefit from the security upgrades at his home that spiralled to a cost of more than R200 million and eventually included a swimming pool, cattle kraal and amphitheatre, all added to Zuma's home at taxpayer's cost.

FILE PHOTO: President of South Africa Jacob Zuma gestures during the 54th National Conference of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa December 16, 2017. "This is really now Ramaphosa's first real test to see if he can navigate a course for an earlier exit for Zuma with as limited a fallout as possible for the ANC".

"The failure by the National Assembly to make rules regulating removal of the president ... constitutes a violation" of the constitution, the court said.

Handing a majority ruling of the Constitutional Court in the court of the application brought by opposition parties, Justice Chris Jaftha told Parliament it failed to hold President Jacob Zuma accountable on the Nkandla ruling. Now that the ruling party's top seat is no longer his, but Cyril Ramaphosa's, Zuma may not have the same protection he once had.

"Concourt ordered the National Assembly to remedy the situation through introducing new rules", said Ben Theron, Chief Operating Officer at OUTA.

"We will ensure that the judgment of the court is fully implemented".

"The ANC will study the judgement and discuss its full implications when the National Executive Committee meets on January 10, 2018", she said.

The court ruled that parliament, where the ANC holds a commanding majority, needed to act within 180 days.

The governing African National Congress tried to use its majority in Parliament to shield Zuma from liability, but the Constitutional Court ruled previous year that he'd violated his oath of office by failing to comply with Madonsela's directive and ordered the Treasury to determine how much he owed.

The Constitutional Court judge said lawmakers "did not hold the president to account and must put in place a mechanism that could be used for the removal of the president from office", according to the UPI.

In March past year, the Constitutional Court had found President Zuma guilty of failing to uphold and respect the Constitution by refusing to pay back the money.

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