The CFCR and Fedusa happy with ConCourt ruling

2016-03-31 20:48


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Johannesburg – The Centre for Constitutional Rights (CFCR) and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) has welcomed the Nkandla judgment, saying the ruling affirmed the "supremacy of the Constitution".

The unanimous Constitutional Court decision in the Nkandla matter on Thursday found President Jacob Zuma should pay back a certain amount of the money spent on upgrades at his Nkandla homestead.

The Court ordered the National Treasury to determine the reasonable portion that Zuma must pay for five non-security items – including a visitors’ centre, a swimming pool and a chicken run – at his private home and report back to the Court within 60 days. The Court ordered Zuma to make the payment within 45 days after that.

“The decision is an emphatic affirmation not only of the rule of law, but also the supremacy of the Constitution,” Phephelaphi Dube, legal officer for the CFCR, said in a statement.

Abuse of power

Dube said the decision highlighted the importance of the separation of powers in a constitutional democracy, as well as the necessity of checks and balances to protect against the abuse of power.

“The importance of the decision cannot be underscored enough. This decision – arising from a challenge by the two main opposition parties to the conduct of a sitting President and the governing party – is not just about party politics.”

Dube said the decision also underlined yet again the public protector’s role in a constitutional democracy.

“The decision transcends... the public protector’s role in a constitutional democracy and the fitness for presidential office of a specific individual..,” he said.

Fedusa president, Koos Bezuidenhout, said the ruling was “a much–needed victory” for the restoration of confidence by the people of South Africa.

He added that the response of the president and the National Assembly to Thursday’s significant ruling remained important.

“The true test of maturity of our democracy now ultimately resides in the ability of our executive authority to step up to the occasion,” he said.

Read more on:    fedusa  |  nkandla upgrade

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