President Jacob Zuma’s political fate now lies in the hands of the ANC after the Constitutional Court ordered him to pay for some of the upgrades to his Nkandla home.
As opposition parties call for Zuma to resign, the ANC National Executive Committee last night scheduled an “urgent” meeting to discuss the ruling and its implications.
Speaking at Luthuli house yesterday afternoon, ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said the ANC respects and accepts the Constitutional Court ruling made by chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng.
“The officials will meet urgently to look into the implications of the judgement and will take it from there.”
In a landmark ruling, the Constitutional Court found that has failed to “uphold, defend and respect” the Constitution when he ignored the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report.
Chief Justice Mogoeng reprimanded the ministers involved in the R247 million upgrade at Nkandla, and ordered Zuma to pay for the cattle kraal, chicken run, visitors centre, amphitheatre and swimming pool.
The National Treasury will in the next 60 days work out how much Zuma owes taxpayers.
He then has 45 days to pay back the money.
The big winner in the court battle was Madonsela who Justice Mogoeng described in biblical terms.
“She [Madonsela] is the embodiment of a Biblical David… who fights the most powerful, and very well resourced Goliath that impropriety and government officials are,” Mogeng said.
Madonsela said the ruling was a victory for the constitution and her office.
“It’s a historical day for all the people of South Africa and for this constitutional institution,” she said.
It was also a victory for the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA), who filed the lawsuit against Zuma.
The DA yesterday filed documents to have Zuma impeached as he has been misleading Parliament.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane said: “I have therefore written to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Baleka Mbete, notifying her of such, and have tabled a notice of motion resolving to remove President Zuma from office in terms of section 89(1)(a) of the Constitution.”
He added: “If I were him, I would be drafting a resignation letter.
“As we always maintained the president acted outside the prescripts of the law. Now is not the time for MPs to fail the nation again. It is time for them to act now and remove Zuma from office.”
Newly graduated EFF leader Julius Malema said his party will not allow Zuma to address parliament again.
“Zuma’s journey ends here… Zuma’s case ends here. Anyone who wants to question this matter any further would be questioning the court.”
The National Assembly has issued a statement saying it would abide by the ConCourt’s orders.