What foreign media have to say about the Nkandla judgment

2016-04-01 14:15
The swimming pool at Nkandla. (Matthew Middleton, News24)

The swimming pool at Nkandla. (Matthew Middleton, News24)

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Johannesburg - As Thursday's Nkandla judgment filled the front pages of South African newspapers, foreign media also took the time to reflect on the momentous day in the country's history. 

The Guardian carried a story with the headline: "Nkandla verdict shows South Africa's democracy is alive and kicking".

The story said: "It’s not a good look for a young democracy when its president is convicted in the country’s highest court of failing to respect the Constitution."

It, however, said later in the story that "while the court verdict, delivered unanimously by a full bench, is a damning indictment of the executive, it is also a timely reminder that South Africa’s young democracy is a lot stronger than it is given credit for. Under immense strain, its checks and balances are working".

The story said the judgment had put South Africa into uncharted territory. 

"But if the Nkandla scandal has taught us anything it is that the country’s institutions, as well as the checks and balances built into its constitution, are more than capable of rising to the challenge."

The New York Times wrote that the Constitutional Court dealt a "humiliating rebuke" to Zuma. 

"In practice, however, the ruling may have little lasting effect beyond embarrassing Mr. Zuma and forcing him to pay back some of the money," the report said. 

The Washington Post said: "The ruling could significantly weaken the leader, who is fending off multiple accusations of alleged misconduct at the highest levels of government, though he still retained the support of powerful factions in his party, the African National Congress."

A report by Al Jazeera on the judgment carried footage of Zuma standing at the back of a bakkie while it drove among soldiers, a march by Economic Freedom Fighter members, Zuma dancing on stage and ANC officials cutting a cake. 

Text on the broadcaster's website said the Constitutional Court delivered a "stinging rebuke to the scandal-plagued leader". 

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  nkandla upgrade  |  media  |  politics

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