President Jacob Zuma and some of the ministers under him have been accused by Corruption Watch of undermining the office of the Public Protector, and for this reason, it will be joining the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s court application to hold the president accountable for the Nkandla crisis which has swallowed a large amount of public funds.
The office of the Public Protector was created to protect fundamental human rights and most importantly prevent the government from treating the public in an unfair and high-handed manner or to infringe on their rights as citizens of the state.
The Public Protector has jurisdiction over all organs of the state, any institution in which the state is the majority or controlling shareholder and any public entity as defined in section 1 of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999.
Corruption Watch has been granted leave and will be joining the two parties as a friend of the court at the Constitutional Court today.
“Our focus in this matter is mainly on compliance by state officials and the president with the public protector’s remedial action. During today’s session, Corruption Watch will make oral submissions on the status and scope of the public protector’s remedial powers and how organs of state are required to respond to the public protector’s remedial action,” This is as indicated on their website.
President Jacob Zuma offered to refund some of the money that was spent on his Nkandla haven and asked that the Auditor-General and finance minister investigate the matter and determine how much he should pay back.
Despite this noble offer by the president, the EFF and DA have rejected his offer.
David Lewis speaking for Corruption Watch says their involvement in the matter will focus on providing submissions to the court on the importance of the Public Protectors role in the fight against corruption.
He also added that some parliamentarians have been offensive with their dealings with the Public Protector.
“Often the Public Protector has been hugely undermined by the president in the Nkandla matter and by several other ministers in their attitudes towards her findings.”