As the constitutional court sets to give its final Zuma’s Nkandla judgement this morning, South Africans are hopeful that it will all end in their favor.
The judgement would be passed to settle a long-running dispute over the powers of the Public Protector. It will also be clarifying whether President Jacob Zuma broke the law by ignoring Thuli Madonsela’s findings or not.
The EFF, supported by other political parties other than the ruling ANC took Zuma and National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to court after Zuma did not pay back a portion of the money for the upgrades, as recommended by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her Secure in Comfort report on the matter.
Admitting to pay back the money used for refurbishing his Nkandla homestead after long refusals, led to huge criticisms against him majorly by the EFF and the DA alongside the office of the public protector, who are of the view that president Zuma had violated his ethical and duty by defying the Public Protector.
Opposition parties are enthusiastic that this judgment will provide a legal basis for them to start impeachment processes in Parliament, even though the African National Congress (ANC) has the majority.
Speaking on this, the DA said they are very certain that the court will give a verdict that will not only justify the powers of the public protector, but would also a pivotal moment in our nation’s democracy”.
The party was said to have worked tirelessly through both the courts and Parliament to ensure President Zuma is brought to book for this clear abuse of power‚ and his willful neglect of the public protector’s remedial actions.
Why Concourt’s Nkandla Judgment Is Crucial
The judge’s Nkandla judgement has been said to be of much benefit not just to opposition parties, but also to South Africans as a whole. One of the major reason for this is that the judgement could lead to the final impeachment of Zuma from office.
As we all know that the recent months has not been too good for the president following series of allegations of corrupt practices leading to a sonorous songs of his impeachment, the judgement today would give opposition parties good footage to successfully oust him.
More to this is that the Nkandla judgement could also clarify the power of the public protector who stands mostly as the mouth piece of the public.
Following recommendations in Madonsela’s report, Secure in Comfort, that Zuma pay back a portion of the money spent on the upgrades which Zuma’s lawyer Gauntlett conceded in February that the protector’s findings and remedial actions were binding, the EFF filed for the court to order that the Public Protector has powers to take remedial action, that these actions were binding on the president and that the president failed to implement the public protector’s directions, in breach of his duties
If the court finally agrees to this, it would make the office of the Public protector more powerful.
The national Assembly will not also be left out in this case. By being unable to deal appropriately with the Nkandla matter specially in addressing the report of Madonsela Thuli over the issue, the NA might be found guilty of failing to exercise oversight of the president as a member of executive.
Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said given Zuma’s concessions, and the “torrid time” Nkosi-Thomas faced in the ConCourt when she appeared to argue that the National Assembly was above the Constitution and the law, “it would not be surprising if the Constitutional Court finds that both the President and the NA had a duty to comply with the findings and remedial action imposed by the Public Protector and did not do so”.
The EFF who are much involved in this case had “invited members of the media to a press conference to be addressed by the CIC Julius Malema” at noon‚ two hours after the judgement is scheduled to start.
More on the judgment will be reaching you soon.