Following the landmark victory in president Zuma’s Nkandla case, South Africa biggest winner and public protector Thuli Madonsela has revealed that the Public Protector Act needs to urgently undergo some changes.
“We’ll be approaching Parliament and the executive with a letter at the beginning of April requesting a low reform process to review the Public Protector Act.”
The endearing advocate also stated that in the course of the ConCourt judgement, certain weaknesses were identified and that her office will speak to the National Assembly in order to have the identified flaws addressed.
Madonsela also said that the Public Protector Act needed to be amended speedily because it doesn’t even refer to remedial action. The advocate added that she would also hold a meeting with the National Assembly on proper conduct in State affairs.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Chief Justice also commented on the Nkandla case judgement. The chief justice described the public protector as an “embodiment of a biblical David” defending the public against the well-resourced Goliath of the state.
We will also recall that the Chief Justice had earlier said that parliament should have held the president accountable and that the president should have decided whether or not to comply with the Public Protector’s remedial action. But instead, Zuma decided to set up an investigation group for himself.
Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said Zuma relied on the group but unfortunately for him, his so-called investigation group ended up exonerating him from paying Nkandla upgrade funds..
“He did not challenge the report through a judicial process. He appeared to have been content with the apparent vindication of this position by the ministers’ favourable recommendations and considered himself to have been lawfully absolved.”
Mogoeng praised the power of the Public protector recommendation, saying neither the president, nor the National Assembly, is allowed to ignore the Public Protector’s remedial action unless it is set aside by a judge.
On the other hand, Advocate Madonsela said she felt happy and contented with Nkandla’s judgement. She noted that the resounding victory has reaffirmed the authority of her office and that her remedial action is binding.
The Constitutional Court found that President Jacob Zuma failed to uphold the Constitution, failed to assist or protect the Public Protector and should have complied with her remedial action.
He was therefore asked to personally pay back the money.