Ruling by South Africa's top court heaps more pressure on embattled Zuma

01 January, 2018, 03:17 | Author: Miranda Cannon
  • Constitutional Court of South Africa

The ruling said parliament must now set out rules for impeachment proceedings. In October the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority to drop corruption charges against Zuma and ordered the president must face those charges in court.

"The assembly did not hold the president to account as was required", the Constitutional Court said in a majority ruling read by Judge Chris Jafta at a hearing in Johannesburg on Friday.

"Concourt ordered the National Assembly to remedy the situation through introducing new rules", said Ben Theron, Chief Operating Officer at OUTA.

OUTA compiled a case to expose the reality and extent of Zuma's conduct and connection to state capture and submitted it to each member of parliament to ensure everyone is informed to hold him to account. "They must make a provision within the rules for that to happen", said Lawson Naidoo, the executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution, an NGO.

Political parties have welcomed the judgment, with the Economic Freedom Fighters saying it looks forward to Parliament developing the necessary rules that could initiate an impeachment process.

Zuma has denied wrongdoing over numerous corruption allegations that have swirled around his presidency.


Jaftha opened the court session by explaining that four judgments were individually prepared with two each holding a different view.

"The pressure will come from within the ANC to engineer a dignified exit for President Zuma. this judgment hastens or adds substantial pressure for an early retirement by Zuma", he told Reuters.

The parties strongly felt that no action had been taken against Zuma after the Constitutional Court ruling in March 2016 which found that Zuma had failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution.

The ANC says it will study the judgment and discuss it at its first NEC meeting next month.

Opposition parties have argued that parliament has not done enough, given the gravity of the court's findings.

The was case brought by opposition groups who wanted parliament to be compelled to begin impeachment of Zuma for allegedly using tax-payers money to upgrade his private home, Nkandla.

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