Opposition willing to take Zuma to court

By Drum Digital
03 October 2014

Opposition parties who withdrew from the Nkandla ad hoc committee would go as far as taking President Jacob Zuma to the Constitutional Court, they said on Friday.

"I think the simple and clear message today is that we'll do whatever action it will take to make sure that no politician is ever exempt from accountability," DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane told reporters in Johannesburg.

Maimane said they were waiting for the Western Cape High Court's ruling on SABC chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng's appointment.

That would decide the enforceability of remedial action proposed by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, he said.

"We will then approach the Constitutional Court to enforce the Nkandla remedial actions against Jacob Zuma.

"All of us here took an oath that says we're here to protect the Constitution."

Madonsela had recommended in her report "Secure in Comfort" that Zuma repay part of the R246 million spent on upgrades to his private Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal home that was unrelated to security measures.

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said they would approach the courts if they felt the Constitution was being threatened.

"Zuma must know that he is nothing but just a South African citizen. All of us... are governed by the same laws and the same Constitution.

"I think he must take time to reflect on himself and do away with this exaggerated self-importance to think that he could manipulate everybody and do as he wishes in this country without being confronted."

The public protector was protected by the Constitution and had powers to take remedial action, he said.

Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota said it was one of the darkest periods of his life.

Earlier, Maimane said the opposition parties would table their own report in Parliament.

"The opposition will table an opposition report to coincide with the ANC's own study group report to be tabled in Parliament after 24 October," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"The opposition will not stand by while the Constitution is being vandalised."

He said the opposition needed to take "strong and deliberate steps".

On September 26 opposition parties withdrew from the committee. This was in protest at the ruling party's refusal to enforce Madonsela's finding that Zuma should pay for part of the Nkandla upgrades, and for its refusal to call Zuma to answer questions about the matter.

-SAPA

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