President Jacob Zuma respects the judgment and findings of the Constitutional Court, says Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe.
Radebe, who is also a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, was speaking on the sidelines of ANC stalwart Raymond “Oom Ray”
Mhlaba’s memorial lecture at Fort Beaufort in the Eastern Cape.
Speaking shortly after the Constitutional Court judges handed down judgment on the Nkandla saga, finding against both President Zuma and the National Assembly on the handling of the Nkandla matter, Radebe said the president “respects the judgment”.
“The president has noted and respects the judgment and the findings of the Constitutional Court on the Nkandla report by the Public Protector. The president and the government appreciate and endorse the powers of the Constitutional Court as the final arbiter in disputes in our country,” he said.
The watershed judgment against the president followed an application to the court by the Economic Freedom Fighters into the handling of the Nkandla matter. The application was later joined by the official opposition Democratic Alliance.
It came after the president “ignored’ Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations that he pay back a portion of the money for upgrades that were not security related – such as the swimming pool, chicken run, cattle kraal, visitor’s centre and amphitheatre.
Radebe said the president would reflect on the Constitutional Court judgment and its implication for the state and government with the view of implementing the decision of the court.
“In due course there will be more communication on this matter,” he said.
Oom Ray was the first premier of the Eastern Cape in 1994. The memorial lecture was attended by his successor and former ambassador to Germany, Makhenkesi Stofile, and current premier Phumulo Masualle.
Radebe delivered the keynote address in a packed hall of ANC supporters in party colours at Old Cape College in Fort Beaufort.
Oom Ray, as Mhlaba was affectionately known, was an ANC and SACP leader and served 25 years at Robben Island after being sentenced along with former President Nelson Mandela and other Rivonia triallists.
It was announced at the event that the Nkonkobe Local Municipality, which falls under the Amathole District Municipality, would now be called Raymond Mhlaba Municipality in honour of the ANC stalwart.