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Analysts dismiss possibility of Zuma being impeached

Political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki says opposition parties don’t have enough influence.

President Jacob Zuma addressing the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA70) on 28 September 2015. Picture: GCIS.
Jacob Zuma,Nkandla,impeachment of Zuma
Local Politics

JOHANNESBURG – With President Jacob Zuma’s lawyers raising fears over possible calls for impeachment by opposition parties, analysts say it’s highly unlikely that he will actually be impeached.

During the Constitutional Court hearing on the Nkandla matter on Tuesday, Zuma's lawyer Jeremy Gauntlett asked the court not to rule on whether the president breached the Constitution through his handling of advocate Thuli Madonsela's report.

He said any ruling on this matter could be manipulated by opposition parties to have the president impeached. 

But political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki says opposition parties don’t have enough influence.

“To succeed in your impeachment you have to have two thirds majority and the opposition doesn’t have two thirds. I don’t think anything is going to happen.”

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says Parliament isn’t required to impeach the president even if he is in breach of the law.

“When we look at the law and the Constitution, Parliament has a discretion in whether they will ever impeach a sitting president in breach of the Constitution and the law is one of the criteria.” 

‘TODAY MARKS THE BEGINNING OF ZUMA'S REMOVAL’

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema said yesterday’s Constitutional Court (ConCourt) case was just the beginning of a process to ensure Zuma was removed as the head of state.

He said Zuma must admit that he had violated the Constitution with regards to Nkandla.

Malema said he was pleased with the arguments made by his legal team and added it was the first step in holding the president to account.

He said his party would accept nothing less than President Zuma complying with all the recommendations made by the Public Protector.

The EFF leader argued if the court ruled that Zuma did indeed violate the Constitution, he must be removed.

“If the ANC doesn’t want to remove him, we will go and impeach him in Parliament. If they lose their majority to protect him, we are back here for the ConCourt to make a pronouncement about a sitting president who violates the Constitution.”

Malema reiterated that the EFF would bring the matter up again in Parliament.

Zuma is due to give his State of the Nation Address on Thursday.

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)

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