All South Africans, including Zuma, are equal before law – De Vos

2016-03-31 19:49
(Mpho Raborife, News24)

(Mpho Raborife, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The Constitution ensures that all South Africans are treated equally before the law and this included President Jacob Zuma, constitutional law expert Professor Pierre De Vos said on Thursday.

"Given our history, a history where some people were treated as if they were special, as if they had special rights and other people were treated as if they were not equal, the very important principle in our Constitution is that everyone is equal before the law and you are not entitled to certain benefits just because you happen to be the president of the country," he told News24.

"Just like an ordinary person in a rural village in Lusikisiki is not entitled to get the state to come and build them a house with a swimming pool, in the same way the president is not entitled to that."

De Vos said this was an important principle established by the Constitution.

The president was entitled to certain things such as security measures. "But over and above that, you cannot now benefit from state funds in a way which ultimately is corrupt, because the Constitution prevents that from happening," De Vos said.

He said if the Constitution did not do that, the country would have gone back to before 1994 where some people counted and others did not.

'Unconscionable way of organising a country'

"That is clearly an unconscionable way of organising a country," he said.

The Constitutional Court earlier on Thursday ruled that Zuma's failure to comply with the Public Protector's remedial action against him in her Nkandla report was inconsistent with the Constitution and was invalid.

The court also ordered that the resolution passed by the National Assembly that absolved Zuma from compliance was invalid and should be set aside.

Reading out the judgment, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said only a court of law could set aside the Public Protector's findings.

Madonsela found in her report, Secure in Comfort, released in March 2014, that Zuma had unduly benefited from some of the upgrades. She recommended that he repay a reasonable portion of the R246m spent on the upgrades, and that the ministers involved in the project be reprimanded.

On the National Assembly, De Vos said by setting aside Madonsela's recommendations and absolving Zuma it was the same as overturning the Electoral Commission of SA's election results if it did not like the outcome.

"It's preposterous," he said. "The court reiterated that is impossible and you can't do it."

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  nkandla upgrade

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Hlaudi's R11.4m bonus

9 minutes ago

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.