Defending Jacob Zuma at all costs

2014-10-05 15:00

I have watched the deliberations of the ad hoc committee considering the recommendations contained in the Public Protector’s Nkandla report with amazement, shock and awe.

It is shocking how far the ANC is prepared to go to protect President Jacob Zuma, to the extent that well-learned and respected academics like Matole Motshekga would misinterpret, conveniently so, the powers of the Public Protector as enshrined in the Constitution.

All this in the name of protecting one individual who is hellbent on evading accountability and liability at all cost.

It is also very convenient to suggest that appearing in person in front of the committee will be tantamount to reviewing the report, that the committee does not have such powers and doing so will result in a constitutional crisis.

However, coming up with different recommendations by the same committee will not constitute the review of the report and will not, by implication, result in a constitutional crisis.

It is a sad day for our democracy when parliamentarians can promote and protect the interests of an individual over those of the country by undermining the Constitution, and the powers of the Public Protector and other chapter 9 institutions.

It is my considered view that the president and everyone else fingered in the report must, and should, appear before the ad hoc committee and be afforded an opportunity to shed light on what has happened. Anything to the contrary would be a cover-up.

Mongezi Sesotlho

Cape Town

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