Mbete's bumbling advocate admits Parly was wrong in Nkandla matter

2016-02-09 20:00
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (GCIS)

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete. (GCIS)

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

Johannesburg – National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete's lawyer Lindi Nkosi-Thomas gained instant fame on social media after she fumbled through her submissions in the Nkandla matter in the Constitutional Court on Tuesday.

She raised her voice, used dramatic hand gestures, and occasionally stood in silence before the judges after they asked her questions.

Her demeanour and comments even amused Public Protector Thuli Madonsela who laughed when Nkosi-Thomas made a comment about her powers. 

Nkosi-Thomas was asked if the National Assembly had erred in how it approached the remedial action recommended by Madonsela in her report on the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

"Did the National Assembly fail to exercise oversight of the president as a member of executive?" Justice Edwin Cameron asked.

After mumbling, Nkosi-Thomas conceded, "Parliament took a wrong position."

Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke sought clarity from her.

"Did the National Assembly err in the manner in which it approached the remedial action taken by the Public Protector in the view that accountability kicks in on the side of the executive? Or are you leaving the matter in our hands?" he asked. 

"I haven't been instructed on that issue,” she responded. 

At one stage the overwhelmed advocate told the justices: “That’s the way it goes”. 

During one of Nkosi-Thomas impassioned submissions, one of the justices asked her for clarity.

Before the justice had finished his question, Nkosi-Thomas began answering him. Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng reprimanded her.

“I am sorry council. Here we speak one person at a time. Just wait for my colleagues to submit their questions and then take your time to respond. Again only respectfully please.”

Nkosi-Thomas said Madonsela could not dictate to Parliament what to do. She said enforcing her remedial action without scrutiny would amount to dictatorship.

As Nkosi-Thomas stood before the justices, gesticulating and stammering, she dominated the discussion on social media.  

Political analyst Eusebius MacKaiser tweeted: "Advocate Nkosi-Thomas is behaving like an ANC backbench MP hoping to shout her way into an ambassadorial posting NGOKU!".

Puppet Chester Missing, the voice of comedian Conrad Koch, said: "Baleka Mbete be like 'honourable lawyer, I do not recognise you'."

According to a LinkedIn page for "Lindi Nkosi-Thomas SC", she had acted as a judge of the High Court of South Africa on numerous occasions. 

The EFF, DA, and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela want to the Constitutional Court to clarify the nature and extent of the chapter nine institution’s powers to take remedial action.

They argued that Zuma failed to comply with Madonsela’s findings that he unduly benefitted from security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, and failed to act on her recommendation that he had to pay back a portion of the R246 million in taxpayers’ money used. 

They wanted the court to make an order compelling him to do so.

Judgment was reserved.

Read more on:    da  |  eff  |  jacob zuma  |  baleka mbete  |  johannesburg  |  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.

Inside News24

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


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.


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.