Transformation RSA to challenge Zuma recall in ConCourt

Law experts say even if President Zuma refuses to resign, he has very little legal options to challenge the matter.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Transformation RSA says it has launched an urgent application in the Constitutional Court challenging the African National Congress (ANC) decision to recall President Jacob Zuma.

The organisation’s president Adil Nchabeleng said: “The constitutional law states very clearly the processes and procedures that need to be adhered to with regards to a recall of a president.

"There’s no organisation that can, on its own, willy-nilly decides as to what should be in the Constitution when it is not present. The application is to seek clarity directly from the court as to who has vested powers of removing the president in South Africa.”

At the same time, as the ANC and the country wait for President Zuma's decision on whether or not he will resign, analysts and commentators are considering the legal and constitutional implications of the move.

Former Presidency director general reverend Frank Chikane says that the removal of former President Thabo Mbeki bordered on being reasonable and the move would have been illegal if the party enforced the recall without following prescribed constitutional processes.

He suggests that the ANC is painstakingly managing the Zuma recall to ensure that it is constitutional.

But analyst Ebrahim Fakir says there are no issues of constitutionality just yet.

“What is at play at moment is a political party privately, in its own internal proceedings asking someone who represents it and who it deployed into public office, they are asking that person to step aside.”

Those concerns will only arise if Zuma refuses the request to resign and refuses to go after a motion of no confidence.

Law experts say even if President Zuma refuses to resign, he has very little legal options to challenge the matter.

The ANC says it expects the president to respond to the NEC's decision to recall him on Wednesday.

Pierre de Vos from University of Cape Town's law faculty says Zuma has very little choice.

“This is a political decision; it is not a legal decision unless, for some reason, they did not follow the right procedure, the will be no way for him to go to court and challenge this in court because this is not a legal decision. It is a political decision.”

Executive Secretary of Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Lawson Naidoo says it’s clear even in a motion of no confidence, Zuma no longer has much support.

“He’d have to rely on Members of Parliament to support him and I think it is now quite clear that the president has lost the support of the majority of the members of the governing party. The opposition parties are probably likely to vote in support of his removal from office.”