ANC in jeopardy over court's ruling on Zuma

Emilio Banks
January 1, 2018

The Constitutional Court will on Friday deliver judgment on whether the National Assembly has held President Jacob Zuma accountable on the drawn-out Nkandla debacle. In October the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority to drop corruption charges against Zuma and ordered the president must face those charges in court.

The court came to four judgments‚ but a majority judgment ordered Parliament to start processes under Section 89 of Constitution to investigate whether Zuma should be impeached within 180 days.

Madonsela issued a report three years ago in which she stated that the millions that went into upgrading Zuma's Nkandla homestead had not all been rightfully used.

It relates to Mr Zuma's use of state funds to upgrade his private home. Now that the ruling party's top seat is no longer his, but Cyril Ramaphosa's, Zuma may not have the same protection he once had.

Reeling from the defeat of his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the leadership race of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) earlier this month, the president was dealt another heavy blow on December 29 by the country's Constitutional Court.

Together, these developments will give rise to new calls to strip Zuma of his position before South Africa's next presidential election in 2019, in which he can not participate, promising more trouble ahead for the lame-duck president.

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Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng wrote a minority judgment saying the majority order was a "textbook case of judicial overreach" into Parliament.

Section 89 of South Africa's constitution enables the National Assembly to remove the president with the backing of at least two-thirds of lawmakers if he seriously violates the law, is guilty of serious misconduct or lacks the ability to perform his functions.

Daniel Silke, director of Political Futures Consultancy, said the ball was now in the ANC's court.

It is not the first time Zuma has faced off with the court. "By omitting to include such rules, the assembly has failed to fulfill this obligation".

"The ANC will study the judgment and discuss its full implications when the National Executive Committee meets on the 10th January 2018", the party said in a statement. "We can only hope that this judgement will be implemented very soon", Theron added.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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