Corruption Watch welcomes ConCourt judgment

2016-03-31 13:59

Johannesburg – Corruption Watch has welcomed the Constitutional Court findings that uphold the powers of the Public Protector.  

In a statement on Thursday, the organisation said the court’s ruling was a resounding vindication of the jurisdiction and centrality of the Public Protector in protecting constitutional values. 

"We are naturally delighted that the Court has decided that the findings of the Public Protector are binding, an outcome that we have consistently contended for in both the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court," said executive director of Corruption Watch, David Lewis.    

Lewis said the court’s findings ensured that the next Public Protector would also be a robust defender of the public against state abuse and maladministration.

Earlier on, the court found that President Jacob Zuma acted inconsistently with the Constitution when he failed to comply with the Public Protector's remedial action on the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in the unanimous judgment: "The president failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution."

The court gave Zuma just more than three months to pay back the money for some of the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

Mogoeng said the National Treasury must determine the reasonable costs of those measures implemented by the department of public works at the president's homestead that do not relate to security

This should be paid back personally by Zuma.

The Treasury had to report back within 60 days of the Constitutional Court's order.

Mogoeng also dealt with the powers of the Public Protector, saying specifically that her remedial actions against Zuma were binding.

He said Madonsela was the "embodiment of a Biblical David... who fights the most powerful and very well resourced Goliath that impropriety and corruption by government officials are".

He also described Madonsela as a "constitutional gift" to South Africa.

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