The Democratic Alliance (DA) has announced that they will go to court in order to get president Jacob Zuma to submit a final full and comprehensive report in response to the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela’s report on the president’s Nkandla homestead.
The aim of the motion submitted by the DA is to force the immediate formation of an ad-hoc committee to probe the matter of the upgrades, with failure of this to occur to be taken up in court by the DA.
The African National Congress (ANC) however felt that the DA had raised the matter without correct consultation. The ANC’s chief whip, Stone Sizani, accused the DA of “springing a surprise” due to the fact that they had raised the matter without any form of notice and declared that the ANC publicly rejects the motion, possibly ensuring that the matter will result in a court case.
The DA federal executive chairman, James Selfe, stated that the president has publicly undermined the public protector through his actions, deliberately. The Public Protector found that the president and his family had unduly benefited from the upgrades to his home at Nkandla, which cost the taxpayer a hefty total of R246 million and that the president is urged to repay a portion of the cost of the upgrades. Thuli Madonsela gave Jacob Zuma two weeks in which to respond, which was a total of no less than 130 days ago.
“The DA will consider launching a court application, which will compel the president to submit his full and comprehensive response, so as to end this unconstitutional undermining of the Public Protector. This will become necessary should our motion today to establish the ad-hoc committee not see immediate outcomes,” Selfe stated.
The DA has stated that if the events follow the course which does not result in immediate formation of an ad-hoc committee to evaluate the Nkandla scandal, they will be forced to take matters to court, invoking section 181 of the South African constitution in order to force Jacob Zuma to respond to the report adequately. Section 181 of the constitution legally obliges all organs of the state to fully support chapter 9 institutions, such as the Public Protector’s office.
In her report, titled Secure in Comfort, earlier this year, the Public Protector found president Zuma and his family to have unduly benefited from the extensive upgrades to his home in Nkandla. Madonsela strongly suggested the president repay a portion of the cost and respond within two weeks. Thus far no adequate response of a comprehensive nature has been heard.