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Sat Oct 01 00:02:29 SAST 2016

ConCourt to issue judgement on Nkandla on Thursday

Ernest Mabuza | 29 March, 2016 16:36
Firefighters attempt to show that the swimming pool at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead is really a security feature.
Image by: ROGAN WARD

The Constitutional Court will on Thursday pass judgment in the case about the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home and who should pay for it.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) asked the court in February to make a decision on the failure by the president and Parliament to implement the Public Protector’s recommendations concerning the upgrades.

The EFF wanted the court to declare that the National Assembly failed to fulfil its constitutional obligation to ensure that all executive organs of state were accountable to it by failing to ensure that Zuma complied with the remedial action recommended by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

The party also wanted the court to declare that Zuma‚ as head of the national executive‚ had failed to fulfil his constitutional obligations to implement the findings and remedial action in the public protector’s report. The party also wants the court to direct Zuma to comply with the remedial action by Madonsela within 30 days of the court order.

Madonsela found in her report that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from some of the upgrades at their Nkandla residence that were not related to security. She said Zuma should pay back a reasonable portion of the money the government spent on those features.

When the matter was heard in the Constitutional Court on February 9‚ Zuma’s legal counsel said the president would repay some of the money to the state.

Jeremy Gauntlett SC‚ for Zuma‚ asked the court not to make the orders sought by the EFF and the DA.

He also said it was not necessary for the court to make a ruling on the powers of the Public Protector because the Supreme Court of Appeal had ruled in a different case last year that the powers were binding.

However‚ counsel for the EFF Wim Trengove SC said Zuma’s acknowledgement that the Public Protector’s powers were binding was gratifying but this was not enough.

He insisted that the EFF still wanted the court to grant the orders it had sought.

Trengove said the capitulation by the president was made only on February 7‚ when his clients had made this demand since September 2014.

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