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Tue Dec 06 17:55:01 SAST 2016

Zuma defied Public Protector: EFF legal team

Ernest Mabuza | 2016-02-09 11:29:55.0

President Jacob Zuma defied the Public Protector’s order of remedial action to be taken over the upgrades undertaken at his private home in Nkandla and thus violated his constitutional duties‚ the Constitutional Court heard on Tuesday morning.

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Counsel for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Wim Trengove SC also said Zuma defied Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations in order to protect his ill-gotten gains.

The court on Tuesday began hearing separate applications by the EFF and the Democratic Alliance (DA) to seek a declaration that Zuma and the National Assembly had failed to comply with their constitutional obligation to comply with remedial action recommended by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Trengove said the president had accepted‚ in his reply to arguments presented by another organisation in the case‚ Corruption Watch‚ that the Public Protector makes binding orders.

“That was a huge concession by the president‚” Trengove said.

He said although everyone had a duty to respect the Constitution‚ there was a singular and a heightened duty on the president to respect the Constitution.

In a report by the Public Protector in March 2014 titled “Secure in Comfort”‚ she recommended that Zuma pay back a portion of the money spent on upgrades at his Nkandla home that were not for security purposes. She found these upgrades to include the swimming pool‚ visitor’s centre‚ cattle kraal and a chicken run.

Both the president and the National Assembly took steps which in their view amounted to compliance with the Public Protector’s remedial action. In addition‚ Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko produced a report which exonerated the president from any liability.

- TMG Digital/TMG Courts and Law

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