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ConCourt finds Parly failed to hold Zuma to account

The court made the finding while ruling on whether Parliament should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president.

The Economic Freedom Fighters' bid to have President Jacob Zuma face impeachment proceedings in the National Assembly was heard at the Constitutional Court on 5 September 2017. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court has ruled that the National Assembly has failed to hold President Jacob Zuma accountable after the Nkanlda ruling, which found that he failed to uphold and respect the Constitution.

The court made the finding while ruling on whether Parliament should initiate impeachment proceedings against the president.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's view, though, was that the matter was a text book case of judicial overreach and that it would be intruding into Parliament's domain.

The court ordered Zuma to pay for the case's costs.

WATCH: ConCourt rules on Zuma impeachment proceedings

Justice Chris Jafta handed down the judgment.

"The assembly simply debated and voted on the motion. It did not satisfy itself that the violation of the Constitution, on which the motion was based, was of the kind contemplated in the section. Therefore we conclude the assembly did not hold the president to account as was required by Section 89."

Section 89 of the Constitution deals with the impeachment of a president but the court found that no rules were in place governing that Section 89 process and that the National Assembly was bound by the Constitution to do so.

WHAT DOES SECTION 89 SAY:

  1. Removal of President

1) The National Assembly, by a resolution adopted with a supporting vote of at least two thirds of its members, may remove the President from office only on the grounds of ¬
a. a serious violation of the Constitution or the law;

b. serious misconduct; or

c. inability to perform the functions of office.

2) Anyone who has been removed from the office of President in terms of subsection (1) (a) or (b) may not receive any benefits of that office, and may not serve in any public office.

3) *2

*2: If the National Assembly, by a vote supported by a majority of its members, passes a motion of no confidence in the President, the President and the other members of the Cabinet and any Deputy Ministers must resign.

The EFF reacted by saying that it is satisfied with the judgment and hopes that processes will begin before the State of the Nation Address in February next year.

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