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Sat Oct 01 19:16:44 SAST 2016

ANC should face legal action for defending oath-breaker Zuma: Cope

TMG Digital | 12 February, 2016 12:23
President Jacob Zuma (R) before his state of the nation address in parliament in Cape Town. File Photo.
Image by: EPA/SCHALK VAN ZUYDAM

The failure to recall President Jacob Zuma for violating “his oath of office by omission and commission” makes the African National Congress (ANC) “subject…to legal action as well”.

That’s the view of the Congress of the People’s (Cope) Dennis Bloem who said Zuma “allowed ANC ministers‚ deputy ministers and MPs to frustrate‚ belittle and attack the public protector in clear violation…of the Constitution”.

“The ANC-led government did nothing whatsoever in the last two years ‘to ensure the independence‚ impartiality‚ dignity and effectivenes’ of this Chapter 9 institution‚” said Bloem.

“In fact‚ it acted repeatedly in contradistinction to those constitutional requirements.”

Bloem went on to deride “Zuma’s latest gambit” in the wake of the Constitutional Court climb-down this week by his legal counsel‚ who conceded that the president accepts that the findings in the public protector’s report on spending at his Nkandla home are binding.

“He cannot ever say that he has been eager and willing to pay back the money and that he left no stone unturned to pay up and put the matter to bed‚” said Bloem.

“Instead‚ he used every stratagem‚ aided and abetted by ANC MPs and ministers‚ to wriggle out of paying back any money at all.”

Bloem took aim at the “error of law” argument Zuma’s counsel took in court this week‚ saying: “They cannot continue to plead ignorance of the law and of the constitution when‚ in fact‚ they are continuing to be openly defiant of both.

“The ANC knows that President Zuma violated his oath of office by omission and commission.

“Their failure to recall him must therefore subject all of them to legal action as well.

“The supreme law of the land must remain sacrosanct and MPs and ministers who will continue to buttress the president in the face of his undermining the constitution‚ will have to be charged for failing their respective oaths of office too.

“It is untenable for President Zuma to remain in office. The MPs and Ministers who are continuing to prop him up are committing an illegal action.”

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