A legal expert has declared that the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was the biggest winner at the end of Tuesday’s Constitutional Court hearing about the Nkandla case.
University of Cape Town constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos further said that during the hearing, the lawyers representing President Zuma in court accepted that the report given by the Public Protector about Nkandla issue was binding and had to be implemented.
President Jacob Zuma also accepted that he had neglected his constitutional obligations and that his actions were based on the fear of future political challenges which could lead to his impeachment.
However, Parliament did not admit to doing anything wrong with regards to the way they handled the directives from the Public Protector concerning the money used on the President’s Nkandla home.
“… parliament did not concede that it acted wrongly, but given the other concessions, it is almost certain that the court will find Parliament completely stuffed up the way it dealt with the Public Protector’s report,” De Vos said.
Prof. De Vos aspired that the justices to be pronounced would deliver a crystal clear guidance about Parliament’s role in holding the executive accountable at any given time.
“Because from today’s hearing, it appears as if Parliament is not doing what the Constitution requires it to do.” He said. He also praised Wim Trengrove, of the EFF, for presenting a “strong, logical and rational” case to the constitutional court.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the Democratic Alliance (DA), and the Public Protector approached the Constitutional Court for clarifications on the nature and extent of the institution’s constitutional powers to take remedial action when necessary.
The EFF and DA also wanted the court to find that President Zuma has failed to carry out Public Protector Mandonsela’s directions that he should repay part of the R246 million spent in upgrading his Nkandla homestead. This is a breach of his oath of office and his constitutional obligations as president and as a citizen of the country.
However, while speaking for Zuma, Jeremy Gauntlett scattered had prevented any further case the respondents might want to present by accepting that Madonsela’s remedial action was binding and that he would repay some of the money used to build his house.
That really put a bullet through any case that the respondents might have had,” De Vos said.