Zuma 'like Saddam Hussein in a hole' after top court ruling

Posted January 01, 2018

The Constitutional Court ruled that the National Assembly failed to hold President Jacob Zuma accountable after the nkandla ruling, which found that he failed to uphold and respect the Constitution.

Reeling from the defeat of his former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma in the leadership race of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) earlier this month, the president was dealt another heavy blow on December 29 by the country's Constitutional Court.

The governing African National Congress tried to use its majority in Parliament to shield Zuma from liability, but the Constitutional Court ruled previous year that he'd violated his oath of office by failing to comply with Madonsela's directive and ordered the Treasury to determine how much he owed.

In March 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma pay back some of the roughly $15 million in state money spent upgrading his private home on a sprawling compound in rural KwaZulu-Natal province. Now that the ruling party's top seat is no longer his, but Cyril Ramaphosa's, Zuma may not have the same protection he once had.

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"We conclude that [the National] Assembly did not hold the president to account", said Constitutional Court judge Chris Jafta.

Zuma, 75, who denies the allegation and a number of others, is expected to remain president until general elections in 2019.

The Friday ruling was by majority of the judges with only Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng dissenting.

Saftu urged the National Assembly to take action following the court's ruling.

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"This just adds to the existing pressures that Jacob Zuma is already laboring under, " Daniel Silke, director of Cape Town-based Political Futures Consultancy said by phone in Cape Town.

The parties sought an order declaring that Mbete failed to put in place all appropriate mechanisms to hold Zuma accountable. "By omitting to include such rules, the assembly has failed to fulfill this obligation".

The ANC says it will study the judgment and discuss it at its first NEC meeting next month.

OUTA said that once again, the Courts have been called to force elected officials to do their duty.

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The court ruled that parliament, where the ANC holds a commanding majority, needed to act within 180 days.