South Africa parliament to consider Zuma impeachment

April 3, 2016 8:12 pm
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South Africa's Constitutional Court found President Jacob Zuma in breach of the constitution for using public funds to upgrade his private home/AFP
South Africa’s Constitutional Court found President Jacob Zuma in breach of the constitution for using public funds to upgrade his private home/AFP

, JOHANNESBURG, Apr 3 – The South African parliament will this week discuss an opposition motion to impeach President Jacob Zuma after the highest court ruled that he flouted the constitution, an official said Sunday.

The speaker of parliament Baleka Mbete told journalists that the move by the Democratic Alliance (DA) would be considered on April 5.

The DA is pushing for Zuma to be impeached after the Constitutional Court on Thursday ruled that he had “failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution” in ignoring the ombudswoman’s directives to repay a portion of public funds used to upgrade his private residence.

Overview
  • "The national assembly will on Tuesday, 5 April, consider a motion by the Democratic Alliance for the removal of the president in terms of section 89 of the constitution," said Mbete.
  • Zuma, whose ruling African National Congress (ANC) commands a strong grip on parliament, is likely to survive any bid to have him removed.
  • A previous impeachment attempt in 2015 over a failure to arrest Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir fell flat when parliament voted overwhelmingly against it.

“The national assembly will on Tuesday, 5 April, consider a motion by the Democratic Alliance for the removal of the president in terms of section 89 of the constitution,” said Mbete.

Zuma, whose ruling African National Congress (ANC) commands a strong grip on parliament, is likely to survive any bid to have him removed.

A previous impeachment attempt in 2015 over a failure to arrest Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir fell flat when parliament voted overwhelmingly against it.

The violation of the constitution verdict stems from the controversial 2009 security upgrades on Zuma’s home at Nkandla village, in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province.

The project, which cost the taxpayers 216 million rand (then $24 million) in 2014, included a swimming pool, chicken run, cattle enclosure and an amphitheatre.

A 2014 report by the country’s Public Protector found that Zuma and his family “unduly benefited” from the improvements, ordering him to pay back some of the money.

The ANC has rallied behind Zuma since the damning Constitutional Court ruling, but some party veterans including Ahmed Kathrada, an anti-apartheid stalwart jailed with Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, have called for him to step down.

Zuma, 73, is set to complete his second term in office in 2019.

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