Shortly after the Constitutional Court judgment on the Nkandla case, the DA declared that it has “officially begun the process to impeach President Jacob Zuma.” After some failed attempts to impeach Zuma, there will be a parties impeachment debate on the Democratic Alliance’s (DA) call for him to be removed from office in the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court gave rise to more grounds to impeach the President as he will face another bid for impeachment tomorrow.
The authenticity of the debate was confirmed yesterday by the National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete who said everything is set for the debate tomorrow afternoon.
Following the Constitutional Court’s ruling last Thursday, calls for Zuma to resign have come from all angles including opposition parties, within his own party the African National Congress (ANC) and tripartite alliance itself.
For not complying with the public protector’s decision on the Nkandla case, the court found that Zuma breached the Constitution and his oath of office.
In addition, the court also found as unlawful, the National Assembly’s adoption of a resolution to exonerate Zuma from the case.
At a media briefing in Parliament yesterday, the judgement by the court was well received by Mbete who however insisted the National Assembly had not violated any section of the Constitution and the ConCourt never said anything like that.
Mbete said the judgment throws more light on how the Public Protector’s reports should be handled in the future.
“There’s no Constitutional Court that says we violated [the Constitution]. The Constitutional Court said certain things were inconsistent with the law.”
With the impeachment debate for the president’s removal set for tomorrow, the DA thinks it is only appropriate for Mbete to resign before the debate to avoid biased judgement.
The DA’s Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said, “We believe it’s apposite that she steps down and makes way for new leadership able to re-establish Parliament’s role as an executive oversight organ.”
However, Mbete refused to resign from her post and said she sees no point for any apology to be rendered to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
The Speaker is likely to preside over tomorrow’s impeachment debate.
The president had welcomed the judgment of the Constitutional Court which stated that the Public Protector’s remedial action on the Nkandla matter was binding.
Anticipations are high from analysts and the citizens that ahead of his address, he would resign from office.