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#Nkandla: Zuma's lawyers prepare for ConCourt showdown

The president’s lawyers will tell the court he did not disobey the Public Protector’ findings.

The Constitutional Court is a tourist attraction
Nkandla,Jacob Zuma Nkandla,Nkandla Investigation,Nkandlagate
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JOHANNESBURG – The findings of the Constitutional Court being heard today is expected to set a precedent for future presidents and organs of state in terms of remedial action ordered by the Public Protector.


President Jacob Zuma's lawyers will tell the Constitutional Court this morning he did not disobey the Public Protector's Nkandla findings and never actually refused to pay back the money spent on his home.

They will be defending Zuma against arguments from the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Democratic Alliance (DA)who claim he broke the law by not complying with advocate Thuli Madonsela’s findings that he pay back a reasonable portion of government money spent on his home. 

The first step for the EFF and DA’s legal teams is to argue that this case should be heard at the highest court of the land. 
If they get over that hurdle they will then argue the merits of the case.

The DA's James Selfe says there are important legal questions that need to be clarified by this court in terms of whether the Public Protector’s remedial action can ever be ignored.

EFF leader Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu arrived earlier, saying they'll be leading a large number of supporters from Newtown to the court later this morning.
Journalists are now trying to secure their seats in the public gallery as there is limited space, while cameras are being set up inside to record proceedings.
Meanwhile, Madonsela’s lawyers are going to tell the court they need finality on the legal status of her findings and whether her remedial actions are in fact binding on the president and other organs of state.

Zuma’s advocate Jeremy Gauntlett is expected to argue that Madonsela’s remedial action instructing him to repay some of the money spent at Nkandla was not meant as an order and that he himself could not determine how much he should pay.

They are likely to explain he arranged for the police minister to determine how much he should pay because he could not be the judge in his own case.

But the EFF and DA will say he actually broke the provisions of the Constitution by not complying with Madonsela’s remedial action.

WATCH: EFF rejects Zuma's plan to #PayBackTheMoney

They will also argue they had a right to take this case directly to the Constitutional Court because only it has the power to make findings where the president is accused of breaching the Constitution.

However, Zuma's lawyers will say they actually have to start in a lower court first in a debate that could see judges not actually making a finding on Nkandla at this stage.

At the same time, Corruption Watch says it hopes today's case will send a message that the country has a strong democracy.

Executive Director David Lewis says, “The president could have settled this a long time ago. In some sense if the court goes as I expect it to go, and it’s about democracy, the truth can come out.” 

LISTEN: President Jacob Zuma is confident that South Africans are happy with his performance as a leader.

EFF MARCH

The red berets are expected to march to the Constitutional Court today. 

The party says it expects thousands of ordinary South Africans to join its march this morning. 

The demonstration is due to start at Mary Fitzgerald Square in the Johannesburg City Centre at the same time that the Constitutional Court begins dealing with the Nkandla matter.

To read the Public Protector's full report on spending at Nkandla, click here.

To read the letter from the Constitutional Court, click here

(Edited by Tamsin Wort)

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