Originally published in News 24
The Methodist Church of SA said yesterday (Thursday, March 31, 2016) that if President Jacob Zuma did not resign, they would put pressure on the ruling party and the government to get him to do so.
The church, in a statement, was reacting to a unanimous Constitutional Court ruling earlier in the day which found that Zuma had acted inconsistently with the Constitution when he failed to comply with the public protector’s remedial action on the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
Zuma had to personally pay back the money for some of the upgrades, following a determination by the National Treasury.
The Constitutional Court also found that the National Assembly acted incorrectly when it set aside Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report.
The church called for Zuma to resign to avoid any further embarrassment.
“These events call for President Zuma to do the honourable thing and resign to save himself, the ANC and the nation as a whole from further embarrassment and ruin,” it said.
“This will go a long way in assisting his supporters to accept his exit, without the polarisation of society.
“If this does not happen, we the people of South Africa must put pressure on the ANC and Parliament to ‘assist’ the president to vacate office peacefully and constitutionally.”
The church said Zuma’s term of office had been marred by too many unresolved claims and scandals, which included the Nkandla matter, the 1999 multi-billion-rand arms procurement deal, as well as his relationship with the controversial Gupta family.
The church also called on South Africans to unite and protect the country’s democracy for future generations.
It expressed the hope that Parliament would in future act in a manner that demonstrated that it put the interests of the country first, rather than blindly protecting an individual.
ACDP welcomes ruling
The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) has also released a statement that it “welcomes the ruling that vindicated the position that was consistently taken by the ACDP that President Jacob Zuma had to pay back a portion of the money spent on non-security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead”.
The statement released yesterday by ACDP President Dr Kenneth Meshoe, continues: “We are also pleased that the Public Protector’s powers have been secured in this judgment. In a democracy there are few things as important as the rule of law, and we believe that this judgment has brought relief and a sense of security to all South Africans who believe in the rule of law.
“The ACDP would like to caution the nation that South Africa is not in good hands while the ANC is in power – therefore they must do their utmost to remove the ruling party from power and bring in an organisation such as the ACDP that believes in integrity and the rule of law.
“The Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, does not deserve to be in his position. The Minister lied not only to the public, but also to Parliament. ANC Members of Parliament who voted in defense of the President and rubbished the Public Protector’s report in Parliament must be ashamed of themselves as their actions were inconsistent with the constitution and they should therefore consider saving face by stepping down from their positions as they should never be trusted again.
“If South Africa’s democracy had matured as Western democracies then the president would have had to step down and Parliament be dissolved due to Parliament also violating the constitution by undermining the report of the Chapter 9 Institution (The Office of the Public Protector).
“All those who swore at the Public Protector, defamed her and ridiculed her, for having made correct recommendations in the Nkandla matter must apologise. We in the ACDP congratulate the Public Protector and her office for a job well done and for uncompromisingly and consistently upholding their recommendations.”
Thuli Madonsela begins next big case: #Guptagate
Meanwhile, Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela is on to her next big case – the Gupta family’s alleged influence in the appointment of cabinet ministers, reports Rand Daily Mail.
Madonsela has written to the Treasury requesting R3-million to investigate revelations by senior ANC members that they were offered ministerial posts by the controversial Gupta family.
Madonsela told The Times she had no choice but to investigate the complaint lodged by the DA as this was done under the Executive Members Ethics Act.
“The wording in the act is that the public protector must investigate,” she said.
Madonsela said she had to investigate not only the appointment of ministers but also all business licences and tenders issued to the Guptas.
She said this required additional resources, hence her request to the Treasury.
Madonsela said she could not celebrate the Constitutional Court judgment while an investigation by the Hawks and National Prosecuting Authority for saying her remedial actions were binding was hanging over her head.
“I would celebrate if the NPA and the Hawks could at least send me a report that says they have stopped investigating me … I’m being investigated with the possibility of being prosecuted for holding this view … that my powers are binding,” she said.