Parliament has not been advised correctly, and the ANC caucus would now look at the quality of the advisors, newly appointed Chief Whip Jackson Mthembu said on Wednesday.
He was referring to the various parliamentary committees and the adoption of Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report, which determined that President Jacob Zuma did not have to pay back a cent of the money spent on his Nkandla homestead.
“If I were to speak for the ANC caucus, indeed we are also sorry. We are sorry. Because we gave an impression that what we did was correct, and what we recommended and what is in our archives was correct. But as we all know, the court has set aside that resolution of Parliament,” he said.
Addressing a press conference in Parliament, together with Deputy Chief Whip Doris Dlakude, he admitted they could have handled the whole matter differently.
This followed the Constitutional Court’s ruling last week that Zuma had failed to uphold the Constitution when he did not comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action regarding the non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
Madonsela had ruled that Zuma had to pay back a portion of the money spent on his Nkandla homestead.
The party welcomed the failure of the DA’s motion to have Zuma removed from office. Mthembu said the motion was without foundation, and it was not historic or unique.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Presidency issued a statement asking the media to “report accurately” and use the Constitutional Court judgment’s exact words, so as not to mislead the public.
“The Presidency wishes to correct media reports wrongly stating that the judgment by the Constitutional Court found that President Jacob Zuma had broken his oath of office,” spokesperson Bongani Majola said in a statement.
“The Constitutional Court did not make such a declaratory order.”
However, constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said on Tuesday that people were playing with semantics when they said Zuma was found not to have broken his oath of office.
“By not upholding and protecting the Constitution as required by his oath of office, the president [is] found in breach of it,” De Vos wrote on Twitter.
“Just because this was not included in the order, does not mean the court did not find this. Not all findings [are] contained in the order made.”
Part of the judgment read: “The failure by the President to comply with the remedial action taken against him, by the Public Protector in her report of 19 March 2014, is inconsistent with section 83(b) of the Constitution read with sections 181(3) and 182(1)(c) of the Constitution and is invalid.”
De Vos said to claim that the absence of an order meant there was no finding that Zuma had breached his oath of office was an “untrue statement”.
He said it was not for the Constitutional Court to decide whether violation of the Constitution was serious or not.
“It’s for Parliament to decide whether failure of [the] president to stop his enrichment by [the] state that he was aware of, was serious.”[Source: News24]