A top court in South Africa has reached the verdict that President Jacob Zuma defied the constitution when he ignored the state order to refund some of the government funds used for the false security upgrade of his Nkandla home.
“The president is the head of state, his is the calling to the highest office in the land, he is the first citizen of this country,” said the chief justice, Mogoeng Mogoeng. “The nation pins its hope on him to steer the country in the right direction.
“In failing to comply with the remedial action, the president thus failed to uphold, comply and respect the constitution. The president may have been acting on wrong legal advice, in good faith. But the illegality still stands.”
The court also held the major party, African national Congress (ANC) guilty for not holding President Zuma accountable for his actions.
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The court has ruled that Zuma must refund the state funds used in upgrading parts of his home that were not necessarily for security upgrades as initially stated.
The judges also required of the national treasury to determine the total cost of the luxury upgrades which had nothing to do with security in 60 days.
President Zuma has however denied the allegations. Last month, he offered to refund the expenses. However when public protector Thuli Madonsela’s estimates outlined a £131,000 (2,775,3945 ZAR) for the swimming pool and a parking garage for VIP guests, and £56,00 (118,634 ZAR) for a cattle culvert, he refused to pay. He requested that a new investigation be carried out by the ministry of public works and that of the police.
Their investigations totally absolved him of all charges with one claiming that the swimming pool was indeed a reservoir to protect against a fire. The opposition were not pleased at Zuma’s efforts to sidestep the law.
The Democratic Alliance ( DA) which took the case to court has announced that they are pushing for an impeachment, also asking the president to resign immediately.
“President Jacob Zuma’s action amounts to a serious violation of the constitution, and constitutes grounds for impeachment,” DA leader, Mmusi Maimane said.
With ANC holding the majority seats in the national assembly, the impeachment might fall through.