CAPE TOWN Rain. Morning clouds. Cool.

MIN17
MAX19
7 day
  • Saturday 16-22°c Sunny. Cool. Sunny. Cool.
    Sunday 16-26°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Monday 18-23°c Sunny. Mild. Sunny. Mild.
    Tuesday 20-25°c Morning clouds. Mild. Morning clouds. Mild.
    Wednesday 19-24°c Showers early. More sun than clouds. Mild. Showers early. More sun than clouds. Mild.
    Thursday 20-23°c Scattered clouds. Mild. Scattered clouds. Mild.
More News

ANC, Cosatu lose key court battles

2014-04-04 22:35
(File)
Johannesburg - The ANC and its alliance partner Cosatu lost key court battles on Friday, with a little more than a month to go before the general election.

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg dismissed the ANC's application against a SMS sent out by the DA accusing President Jacob Zuma of stealing public funds to upgrade his Nkandla home.

The court also set aside the suspension of Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi.

The outcomes in both cases were welcomed by political parties and trade unions.

The Freedom Front Plus (FF Plus) said the court findings were a serious blow to the ANC.

"These two judgments offer the opportunity to expose the ANC for that which they truly are, and for the voters to take a decision in favour of a better future for South Africa on 7 May," said FF Plus leader Pieter Mulder.

"The reinstatement of Vavi as the general secretary of Cosatu will definitely reveal the cracks in the ANC and Cosatu's alliance."

A split in Cosatu could have far-reaching consequences for the ANC, Mulder said.

Acting Judge Mike Hellens ruled that the DA's SMS was fair comment.

"The totality of the [public protector's] findings speak of an untrammelled and uncontrolled, or substantially uncontrolled, access to public funds to benefit, without adequate lawful authority, the state president," Hellens said in his judgment.

Last month, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from R246m in security upgrades to his private home in KwaZulu-Natal.

The DA said in its SMS: "The Nkandla report shows how Zuma stole your money to build his R246m home. Vote DA on 7 May to beat corruption. Together for change."

The ANC said it felt Hellens had erred in dismissing the application and ignoring the Electoral Act.

The DA welcomed the judgment as victory for freedom of speech.

Vavi ruling

In the Vavi matter, Deputy Judge President Phineas Mojapelo found that Cosatu breached its constitution when it suspended Vavi.

"They did not vote when a vote was prescribed. No valid decision was taken in those circumstances," he said in his judgment.

"The decision... is declared invalid... and accordingly set aside."

The National Union of Metalworkers of SA (Numsa), which had initiated the court application for Vavi's reinstatement welcomed the judgment. Numsa members inside the court room cheered on Friday when Mojapelo concluded his judgment.

"[The judgment] has vindicated our long-standing belief that the suspension was politically engineered to undo the democratic choice of worker delegates... who, in September 2012, democratically elected comrade Vavi," deputy general secretary Karl Cloete said outside the court.

"While we are relieved that this costly, but avoidable court battle is over, we hope the Cosatu leadership will have the political and organisational discipline to respect the decision of the court and abide by it fully."

Vavi's wife Noluthando told reporters she felt justice had been done.

She was in court on Friday, but her husband was not because his daughter had been involved in a car accident in Queenstown, Eastern Cape.

The National Education Health and Allied Workers Union (Nehawu), which supported Cosatu's decision to suspend Vavi, said it would consult with its legal advisers and Cosatu leaders about appealing the judgment.

Cosatu is expected to discuss the way forward at a special central executive committee meeting on Tuesday.

- SAPA
Read more on: cosatu  |  da  |  ff plus  |  anc  |  zwelinzima vavi  |  jacon zuma  |  johannesburg  |  elections 2014  |  politics  |  nkandla upgrade

More In This Category
IEC announces by-election date

The IEC has announced a date for municipal ward by-elections.

ANC Limpopo urges party to rebuild, dismisses early conference talk

The ANC in Limpopo has vowed to reform itself and has urged branches to focus on rebuilding instead of holding an early special conference or consultative conference.

3 more arrests for slain DA councillor, partner

Three more people have appeared in court in connection with the murders of DA councillor Johannes Baatjies and his business partner, the Northern Cape Hawks have said.

ANC 'colluding' MEC in hung councils hits back at IFP

KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube has hit back at the Inkatha Freedom Party which has accused her of working with the ANC to stall processes in hung municipalities.

Comments
Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
50 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
News24 |   OLX  |  PROPERTY24  |  CAREERS24  |  SPREE  |