It is clear that President Jacob Zuma betrayed members of his Cabinet and ANC members of Parliament.
This was the reaction of United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa after Zuma’s lawyer conceded in the Constitutional Court yesterday that the findings of the Public Protector were binding and could only be challenged to review in a court.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had recommended that Zuma should, with the help of the national treasury and the police, calculate the “fair costs” of the improvements to the president’s Nkandla home that did not relate to safety.
However, Zuma did not give immediate effect to her finding, saying it was not binding.
Several ministers and MPs have been critical of the Public Protector and defended the president in parliamentary committees, investigations and during ad hoc committees.
The UDM was one of the political parties that refused to accept Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report on Nkandla – which contradicted Madonsela’s finding and which went through Parliament.
Nhleko found that all the upgrades were security-related and Zuma therefore owed nothing.
Holomisa said yesterday: “What is coming out clearly is that Zuma has betrayed the ministers and MPs of the ANC – whether it was on a committee or wherever. At the end of the day the ANC voted to say Zuma must not pay. He betrayed them.
“How will they be able to look South Africans in the face after the way in which they protected him?”
Holomisa believed opposition parties had reason to celebrate.