By Lizeka Tandwa, News24
Johannesburg – The DA is optimistic the Constitutional Court will uphold the constitutional powers of the public protector, following submissions in the Nkandla matter on Tuesday.
Lawyers for President Jacob Zuma, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, and Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko all conceded in court that the public protector’s findings could only be challenged by a judicial review, the party said in a statement.
“Twenty-one years into our democracy, we need to establish the benchmarks of good governance and transparency, and we are confident that the court will assist in achieving this,” it said.
On Tuesday, the DA and EFF argued that President Jacob Zuma was required to comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s recommendations and repay a reasonable percentage of the R246 million spent on upgrades to his Nkandla homestead. Judgment was reserved.
The DA’s case involved defending the constitutionally-enshrined power of the public protector to take remedial action on the one hand, and the need for accountability and upholding of the rule of law on the other.
“Our Constitution is binding on all organs of state, including the president. To have ignored a constitutional organ, in the form of the public protector, for over two years, and to have employed a series of stratagems, including the police minister’s report and the three ad hoc parliamentary committees, to ‘second guess’ and ‘ignore’ the public protector, requires judicial action,” the party said. – News24