‘Secure in Comfort’ author and South Africa’s renowned public protector Thuli Madonsela has said that she won’t be the one to determine how much President Jacob Zuma would pay for his home upgrades. Thuli has been considered the biggest winner after the Constitutional court heard President Zuma’s Nkandla case.
“The reasonableness in my report is in respect of what needs to be paid. I want to leave it to Treasury in terms of what would be the first amount that they work with. They have got to look at all of the items that have been found to be non-security items in the findings, including the five that I mentioned in the remedial action. Which is the original sum they will work with,” said Madonsela.
The high drama witnessed in the Constitutional court yesterday is a product of Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations in 2014. Anyway, everybody believes that President Zuma would not have been dragged this far, if only he accepted that Thuli’s recommendations were binding months ago.
While the case lasted yesterday, Malema told his supporters, who crowded outside the court,
“Why is Zuma changing today, but all along he was laughing in Parliament like ‘hehehe maye’babo’ [oh my God] because he thought he was untouchable.”
Nevertheless, Madonsela believes that it is good that things are turning out this way. She feels happy also that South Africans have reckoned with her recommendations.
“It was said that it was drawn out but as people keep arguing that they thought that they were right, and now that they are persuaded that they were wrong, it is a good thing that they have come to terms with the decision I made,” she said.
Madonsela went ahead to say;
“They also have to look at the report of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) as part of the work that they need to incorporate. They also have to look at the apportionment statement that was made by the task team. That report says that that should be part of the material that they work with.”
President Zuma yielded to pressure from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance, who had challenged him in separate applications regarding his stand on his Nkandla upgrades reimbursement. Reports said rival parties are bent on seeing that president Zuma accepts that he violated the constitution.
Not only that, they surmised that he might also be impeached if he loses the case. EFF defiant leader Julius Malema has promised to ensure that Zuma takes the exit door, if found guilty. However, the constitutional court has reserved judgement but Malema promised to bring the matter up in the parliament during the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
Malema reiterated, “If the ANC doesn’t want to remove him, we will go and impeach him in Parliament. If they lose their majority to protect him, we are back here for the ConCourt to make a pronouncement about a sitting president who violates the Constitution.”