Apology shows Zuma has no knowledge of Constitution - Maimane

BY CHARL BOSCH - APRIL 3, 2016

Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane has launched a scathing attack against the African National Congress (ANC), describing it as a party that has “defrauded the state” and led “by a leader who has long forgotten about the people”.

His comments, made during the party’s Pledge to Reg campaign at the Boardwalk’s Vodacom Amphitheatre in Port Elizabeth on Saturday, came after President Jacob Zuma announced in a surprise televised interview on Friday evening, that he never indented not to adhere to the remedial actions of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report.

Hours before, the Constitutional Court found that the recommendations in Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort, which called for the President to pay back a percentage of the R246-million spent on non-security upgrades at his private home, were binding, and that he violated the Constitutional by opting to ignore it.

“I wish to reiterate that any action that has been found not to be in keeping with the Constitution happened because of a different approach and different legal advice,” an extract from Zuma’s statement read.

“I wish to emphasise that I never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the Republic. The matter has caused a lot of frustration and confusion, for which I apologise, on my behalf and on behalf of government. I respect the judgement and will abide by it”.

Zuma however stopped short of adhering to calls to hand in his resignation. In delivering the court’s ruling, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng stated that the exact amount would be determined by National Treasury within the next 60 days, and that Zuma must responded with the payment no more than 45 days later.

“What this ruling has proved is that you cannot have both Jacob Zuma and the Constitution [at the same time]. His apology clearly shows that he has now idea [of] what the Constitution requires of him, or how South Africans view him,” Maimane said.

“He thinks he can do whatever he likes to whomever he wants and that he would be supported by the ANC. We will continue to use all available democratic and constitutional avenues to ensure that Zuma no longer occupies the Presidency”.

Maimane also described Zuma’s remarks that the matter had been misunderstood as “an insult to the intelligence of South Africans”, and that the ruling party “has learned all the tricks of the old government”.

“The only we remove the old government was to vote them out… we will remove the ANC like we did with the Apartheid government. We need change, and we need it now”.

A motion of impeachment against Zuma is set to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday.