Legal expert: Zuma not in for a good year

The highest court in the land is expected to give a ruling on whether Parliament can proceed in initiating impeachment proceedings against President Jacob Zuma.

Former ANC president Jacob Zuma on 18 December 2017. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – A legal representative for opposition parties says the nature and magnitude of the allegations against President Jacob Zuma deserve a proper inquiry or investigation.

Eric Mabuza is representing the Congress of the People, United Democratic Movement (UDM) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF).

The highest court in the land is expected to give a ruling on whether Parliament can proceed in initiating impeachment proceedings against Zuma.

The court application brought seeks to compel National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to investigate Zuma's conduct.

Zuma has survived a series of no confidence votes against him and has stood to give account in numerous question and answer sessions this year.

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However, Mabuza says this is simply not enough.

“For instance, one of the issues is the bond the president said he had. It turned out to be untrue. We cannot get to the bottom of the matter with a question and answer session. We need an inquiry where the president can answer for himself.”

Constitutional Court expert Cathy Powell says that the ruling by the court may be an effective move as it would see the National Assembly become obliged to move beyond politics and proceed into an investigation.

Powell says that whatever the outcome of the ruling may be, Zuma has a difficult year ahead.

“The argument of the EFF and UDM is that this has to start with an investigation, which is to carry out genuine scrutiny. He is not in for a good year. This is a legally credible argument to make it happen.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)