Zuma has failed the test, but our constitution has not - Times LIVE
Thu Apr 27 20:50:59 SAST 2017

Zuma has failed the test, but our constitution has not

The Times Editorial | 2016-04-01 00:34:13.0

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There was no better way to confirm our rule of law than the Constitutional Court's ruling on the controversial upgrades made to President Jacob Zuma's private estate in Nkandla.

The judgment reaffirmed our constitution and gave us hope that our democracy is still safe.

Never again should political power be allowed to run amok, and act in a manner that is counter to the nation's interests.

The court found that Zuma failed to honour the oath of office he made when he was sworn in as the head of state.

He used the political process to frustrate the rule of law.

The ruling by the 11 judges was unanimous, plain and direct: Zuma and the ANC-led parliament acted against the constitution.

Today, South Africa wakes up to a new reality - we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated or abused by those in power.

This new reality gives our growing democracy a new lease of life, and places it in a position to face future challenges.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng also ruled that the remedial action recommended by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was binding.

Zuma and members of the ANC tried - but failed - to cover up acts of impropriety.

What is perhaps most troubling is that members of parliament, who are duty-bound to hold the executive accountable, failed to do so.

They failed to protect this nation and acted as if the constitution did not exist.

But today we remain resolute as a nation that the constitution is the bedrock of our democracy.

Those who drafted our constitution were alive to the possibility that government officials could try to abuse their power.

The question that needs to be answered this morning is: What will the ANC do now?

Will it act to protect the constitution or seek new ways to prolong Zuma's time in office?

The clock is ticking and any decision or lack thereof will decide the future of this nation.


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