Opposition parties welcome ConCourt’s Zuma judgment

The Constitutional Court has ruled that the National Assembly failed to hold President Jacob Zuma accountable after the Nkandla ruling.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Political parties have welcomed Friday’s Constitutional Court judgment on the president and the National Assembly, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) saying it looks forward to Parliament developing the necessary rules that could initiate an impeachment process.

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

The Constitutional Court ordered Parliament to create rules for a process to impeach a president who violates the country’s Constitution.

LISTEN: Can ANC ask Zuma to resign after ConCourt judgment?

Justice Chris Jafta handed down the judgment, saying the assembly simply voted on the motion of no confidence and did not deal with the violation of the Constitution.

EFF Secretary-General Godrich Gardee says the process of creating rules dealing with impeachment should be finalised as soon as possible, preferably before the State of the Nation Address in February 2018.

“We have everything we needed from the court, including cost.”

Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota was also in court and said: “Now the court has found that they failed in their duties. They broke the oath of office for the second time because they should have developed the procedure… urgently.”

UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said: “This is the second time that the Constitutional Court has pointed the finger at the actions of the National Assembly. But, what we’re happy about is that the ConCourt has endorsed our desire to start a process of impeaching President Zuma.”

WATCH: ConCourt rules on Zuma impeachment proceedings

At the same time, the National Assembly says it will ensure that it finalises its rules in line with the court order.

In a statement, the National Assembly says it agrees with the reservation highlighted by both the chief justice and the deputy chief justice regarding the violation of the judiciary into the internal functioning of the national legislature.

Parliament says it will comply with Friday’s judgment.

Meanwhile, the African National Congress says it has noted the judgment, adding that it will study it and discuss its full implications when the new national executive committee meets in January.

Labour has also welcomed the ruling, with the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) and the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) saying this is a step in the right direction to remove President Zuma.

Saftu’s Zwelinzima Vavi says the process to create rules regarding impeachment must be fast-tracked to ensure Zuma does not deliver the State of the Nation Address.

“We can’t see any more reasons why the ANC, despite everything that has happened including the fact that Zuma is no longer the president of the ruling party, why we should be tortured again by having to listen to this man when he does another boring State of the Nation Address.”

Fedusa’s Dennis George said: “Parliament must design these rules without delay.”