Mbeki praises ConCourt's Nkandla judgment

2016-04-11 13:56
Former president Thabo Mbeki (File)

Former president Thabo Mbeki (File)

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Johannesburg - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng and his fellow justices must be saluted for their unanimous decision in the Nkandla matter, former president Thabo Mbeki said on Monday.

"We owe it to our Constitutional Court to salute the Chief Justice and his fellow judges for the meticulous manner in which they discharged their constitutional responsibilities as our apex court, clearly to identify the national imperatives binding on everybody with regard to the strategic task to ensure the vibrant functioning of our constitutional democracy," he wrote in a letter published on Facebook.

In his letter he did not mention President Jacob Zuma by name or express an opinion on how Zuma should respond to the judgment.

He said the court's judgment had evoked much political discussion and activity in the country. These included the calls for Zuma to be removed from office.

Mbeki sacked Zuma as deputy president in 2005 after he was implicated in corruption. Zuma replaced Mbeki as party leader at the ANC’s Polokwane conference in 2007.

How South Africa should be governed

In 2008, the ANC recalled Mbeki as president of the country. A year later, Zuma was sworn in for his first term as president of the country.

Mbeki said the judgment posed and answered the question of how the Constitution prescribed how South Africa should be governed.

"In this context it has also answered the question in the affirmative – should any consequences arise from any failure by anybody or any governance institution to act according to the constitutional prescripts?"

Calls for the ANC to remove Zuma have increased since the court ruled on 31 March that he had failed to uphold, defend, and respect the Constitution by not complying with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's remedial action regarding payment for the non-security upgrades to his private Nkandla home.

It ruled that the National Assembly failed to uphold the Constitution when it set aside Madonsela's report.

Honouring an oath

Mbeki on Monday said the Constitution was a united national response to what South Africa had to do to avoid the bad governance which characterised colonialism and apartheid.

“By definition, the practice of constitutional democracy means recognition of the Constitution as the supreme law of the land and therefore the central determinant of our governance system."

Mbeki said the decision to establish the country's constitutional democracy was "born out of immense sacrifices" countless people had made.

This meant all political parties elected to Parliament had to honour the oath they took when they were sworn in. It meant the judiciary, and all those working in state organs should not allow themselves to be "owned" by any political party or other interests.

Read more on:    constitutional court  |  mogoeng ­mogoeng  |  thabo mbeki  |  jacob zuma  |  nkandla upgrade  |  politics

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