Ruling by South Africa's top court heaps more pressure on embattled Zuma


Handing a majority ruling of the Constitutional Court in the court of the application brought by opposition parties, Justice Chris Jaftha told Parliament it failed to hold President Jacob Zuma accountable on the Nkandla ruling. Perhaps more important, however, the court ordered lawmakers to design a stronger mechanism for removing the president from office.

The parties strongly felt that no action had been taken against Zuma after the Constitutional Court ruling in March 2016 which found that Zuma had failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution.

Madonsela issued a report three years ago in which she stated that the millions that went into upgrading Zuma's Nkandla homestead had not all been rightfully used.

The ruling said parliament must now set out rules for impeachment proceedings, but it remains unclear whether this will lead to any impeachment.

Earlier this month, the African National Congress - the controlling party in South Africa - elected Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa as its leader, setting the stage for him to become the next president of the country when Zuma's term expires in 2019.

"Concourt ordered the National Assembly to remedy the situation through introducing new rules", said Ben Theron, Chief Operating Officer at OUTA.

The court reserved judgment on the matter in September.

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"This just adds to the existing pressures that Jacob Zuma is already laboring under, " Daniel Silke, director of Cape Town-based Political Futures Consultancy said by phone in Cape Town.

Zuma, an earthy politician with scant formal education who spent a decade in prison with Nelson Mandela for fighting apartheid, has faced numerous corruption allegations throughout his presidency.

"The ANC will study the judgment and discuss its full implications when the National Executive Committee meets on the 10th January 2018", the party said in a statement.

OUTA compiled a case to expose the reality and extent of Zuma's conduct and connection to state capture and submitted it to each member of parliament to ensure everyone is informed to hold him to account.

"The assembly simply debated and voted on the motion".

"We conclude that the assembly did not hold the president to account".