Nhleko's Nkandla report has no legal standing - EFF

2016-02-09 12:07
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Johannesburg - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's report clearing President Jacob Zuma over repayments for Nkandla upgrades has no legal standing, the Constitutional Court was told on Tuesday.

"That is an unlawful piece of defiance of the report of the Public Protector," submitted Wim Trengove SC on behalf of the Economic Freedom Fighters who believe Zuma violated the Constitution over the Nkandla issue.

"It has absolutely no standing in law," he said. 

The president was not allowed to second guess the public protector and her orders had to be obeyed, said Trengove in hard-hitting submissions to the judges of the highest court in the land.

With Zuma's legal advisor Michael Hulley and Public Protector Thuli Madonsela present to hear him accuse the president of violating the Constitution by ignoring Madonsela's report Secure in Comfort, Trengove said the matter had to be dealt with speedily.

Parliament was in disarray and there had been great unhappiness about the failure to resolve the issue.

Madonsela had explained in a letter earlier in February that the effectiveness of her office had been destroyed because of the perception that her orders are mere recommendations.

Last year, Nhleko publicly presented a video-assisted explanation of why Zuma did not have to pay any money towards the non-security upgrades at Nkandla.

"Our case is one of a failure to obey the Constitution - regardless of bad faith or ignorance of the law," said Trengove.

He said Parliament's ad hoc committee "sat in judgment of the public protector", and had decided that she was wrong.

"That is why they sub-contracted the job [of deciding whether Zuma should pay anything] to the police," he said.

They were supposed to have called the president to account, and they did not.

The EFF wants an order that the president comply with the remedial action of the public protector. The party contends that the failure to comply – about which no material dispute emerges from the papers – infringes a series of obligations imposed specifically on the president by the Constitution.

Read more on:    eff  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  nkandla upgrade

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