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ANC defends Zuma in Nkandla case

The ANC maintains that Zuma never defied the recommendations made by Public Protector on Nkandla.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The African National Congress (ANC) has defended President Jacob Zuma saying while they welcome the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) application over the Nkandla debacle, it believes the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have politicised the matter.

With many supporters from opposition parties gathered outside the court, the ANC insists Zuma never said he wouldn't comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's findings.

The ANC's Zizi Kodwa maintains that President Zuma never defied the recommendations made by the office of the Public Protector.

He says the issue is that Madonsela is forcing her recommendations, as per her terms, and is disregarding the recommendations directed by Parliament and the executive.

Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN.

Kodwa says the ANC respects Chapter Nine institutions and insists Zuma will take responsibility.

On the other hand, Zuma's lawyer has told the court that he accepts that the Public Protector directed administrative action and that it's binding.

"What about putting the Auditor General together with National Treasury; the Public Protector doesn't' like that, she would rather cut out [the South African Police Service] and just have the National Treasury doing the quantification exercise."

The DA and the EFF have already submitted their arguments; both parties agree that Zuma defied advocate Madonsela's report.

The president's lawyer, Jeremy Gauntlett, says the president accepts that in this case, the Public Protector's remedial action is binding.

"The president accepts that the Public Protector has directed remedial action that has not been reviewed. Since it has not been reviewed, it has to be carried out."

Gauntlett also referred to arguments by the DA that Zuma defied Madonsela.

"It was, in fact, nothing other than a mistake of the law."

He also says they are not relying on the police minister's report.

Gauntlett says there needs to be clarity about who should calculate the money repayable by president over his Nkandla residence.

He says he's unhappy about arguments over who should determine the amount to be paid back.

The lawyer says calls for other listed security features to be investigated are unnecessary as the public protector has already identified the five items that require repayment.

"The lurking flirtation which bubbles up every now and then, that this quantification process which, by the Public Protector's contemplation, was to be done in 14 days, would open up again the inquiry of whether apart from the five items - other items are non-security."

#Nkandla Outside, looking in: EFF members gather on a hill after arriving at the #ConCourt. pic.twitter.com/FnrdDbLEWS

#Nkandla EFF members at the Constitutional Court. pic.twitter.com/O9QiUgLh6L

#Nkandla The scene outside the con court, police have barricaded entrance wi barbed wire. VM pic.twitter.com/9UNULN8wGD

Meanwhile, the EFF's leadership have now made their way inside the court to listen in on proceedings.

Members of the party have committed to staying outside the venue well into the evening.

The mood is a lot calmer now after EFF members took part in a "pay back the money march".

This morning, Commander in Chief Julius Malema told demonstrators at the Mary Fitzgerald Square there is nothing wrong with his comments about the Guptas, claiming they are thugs.

Malema says the EFF has been the only organisation to stand up to white monopoly capital, making reference to the party's march to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

He says today, the party wants the ConCourt to reaffirm the powers of the Public Protector for the sake of the country.

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