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Zuma to face new impeachment bid on Tuesday

Speaker Baleka Mbete confirmed yesterday the debate is set down for tomorrow afternoon.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma faces another bid for his impeachment when parties debate the Democratic Alliance's (DA) call for him to be removed from office in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete confirmed yesterday the debate is set down for tomorrow afternoon.

Calls for Zuma to step down have come from opposition parties, within the African National Congress (ANC) and tripartite alliance itself, in the wake of the Constitutional Court's ruling last Thursday.

The court found that he breached the Constitution and his oath of office by not complying with the Public Protector's findings on the Nkandla spending matter.

The court also found the National Assembly's adoption of a resolution absolving Zuma was unlawful.

WATCH: Madonsela: ConCourt judgment a victory for SA

Briefing media at Parliament yesterday, Mbete welcomed the judgment but insisted the National Assembly had not violated the Constitution.

Mbete said Parliament respected the judgment and that it clarifiec how the Public Protector's reports should be handled in future. But she tried to downplay the Constitutional Court's damning assessment.

"There's no Constitutional Court that says we violated [the Constitution]. The Constitutional Court said certain things were inconsistent with the law."

With the president's removal set to be debated tomorrow, Mbete is also facing calls for her to resign.

The DA's Chief Whip John Steenhuisen said, "We believe it's apposite that she steps down and makes way for new leadership able to re-establish Parliament's role as an executive oversight organ."

Mbete said she was not going anywhere. She also dismissed the need for any apology to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

The Speaker is likely to preside over tomorrow's debate.

"We have agreed to the application for there to be a debate on the motion. I think surely we should welcome the fact we are not suppressing debate on the motion."

Mbete also said she wanted to meet with party leaders to discuss the judgment further.

WATCH: ConCourt's Nkandla ruling: What will Parliament do?

ZUMA APOLOGISES TO SA

On Friday, the president announced that he welcomed the judgment of the Constitutional Court which stated that the Public Protector's remedial action on the Nkandla matter was binding.

Ahead of his address, analysts and ordinary citizens were betting that he would resign .

Opposition parties, political commentators, civil society groups and ordinary South Africans raised their displeasure at the president and the ANC.

WATCH: Zuma: I never set out to violate the Constitution.

Professor Sipho Seepe said Zuma's apology was a strategic move by the ANC.

"It doesn't matter how much you try to spin this one, the damage is done and it has been done in a very profound way. And I'd even go further and say I wonder if it is the ANC that can save itself from itself."

The FW de Klerk Foundation also believes Zuma's apology is not sufficient and that he shouldn't only have to pay back what they call a "mere" portion of the R246 million in state funds spent on renovations at Nkandla.

The foundation's Dave Steward said, "The question at the heart of this is why was it possible for the state to approve the expenditure of R246 million under any circumstances. It's unacceptable in a country where the same amount of money could provide housing for literally tens and thousands of South Africans."

At the same time, anti-apartheid stalwart Ahmed Kathrada said he could not continue to relate to a president who had been unanimously found to have failed to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Kathrada released what he calls an "agonising" letter to Zuma, calling on Zuma to submit to the will of the people and resign.

To read Zuma's speech on the ConCourt judgment on Nkandla, click here .

To read the full judgment by the ConCourt on Nkandla, click here.

To view EWN's feature on key moments from the Nkandla saga, click here.

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