Public Protector 'the biggest winner' in Nkandla ConCourt case
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was the biggest winner after Tuesday’s Constitutional Court hearing into the Nkandla saga, a legal expert has said.
President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers accepted that her report about Nkandla was binding and had to be implemented, University of Cape Town constitutional law expert Professor Pierre de Vos said.
Zuma further conceded he had been in the wrong and that his actions were based on the fear of further political fallout which could lead to impeachment.
"Thirdly, Parliament did not concede that it acted wrongly, but given the other concessions, it is almost certain that the court will find Parliament completely stuffed up the way it dealt with the Public Protector's report," De Vos said.
De Vos hoped the justices would deliver clear guidance about Parliament’s role in holding the executive accountable.
"Because from today's hearing it appears as if Parliament is not doing what the Constitution requires it to do."
The Economic Freedom Fighters, the Democratic Alliance, and the Public Protector approached the Constitutional Court for it to clarify the nature and extent of the chapter nine institution's powers to take remedial action.
The EFF and DA further want the court to find that Zuma failed to implement Mandonsela’s directions that he should repay part of the R246 million spend in upgrading his Nkandla homestead, in breach of his oath of office and his constitutional duties.
De Vos praised Wim Trengrove, for the EFF, for presenting a "strong, logical, and rational" case.
However, Jeremy Gauntlett, for Zuma, threw a spanner in the works by accepting that Madonsela’s remedial action was binding and that he would repay some of the money.
"That really put a bullet through any case that the respondents might have had," De Vos said.
Court reserved judgment.