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Court to rule on ANC, DA matter

2014-04-03 19:02
Johannesburg - The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg will hand down judgment on Friday on an urgent application by the ANC to stop a DA SMS accusing President Jacob Zuma of stealing public money.

Acting Judge Mike Hellens on Wednesday asked counsel for both parties to submit heads of argument to him by 14:00 on Thursday, arguing whether he was sitting as an electoral court, the high court, or both.

This would determine what he could order.

The ANC took the DA to court over 1.5 million SMSes it had sent to prospective Gauteng voters accusing Zuma of stealing public money to build his private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

The SMS stated: "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."

On Wednesday, Advocate Gcina Malindi for the ANC, told the court the party wanted the DA to retract the SMS, stop sending it and apologise, or be fined up to R200 000.

Malindi argued the SMS was in contravention of the Electoral Act and Code of Conduct.

Advocate Ismail Jamie for the DA, argued that his client had not stated that the public protector's report had said Zuma had stolen taxpayers' money.

He said it "showed" he had stolen public funds to build his Nkandla home.

A reasonable person could conclude from the public protector's report that the president stole from the public, he said during argument.

Last month, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from security upgrades to his Nkandla home.

The ANC argued that Madonsela never said in her report that Zuma had stolen or concluded in her report, titled "Secure in Comfort", that he stole taxpayers' money.

Read more on: da  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  nkandla upgrade  |  poltics  |  elections 2014

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