South African legislature must develop impeachment rules for Zuma

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

Section 89 of South Africa's constitution enables the National Assembly to remove the president with the backing of at least two-thirds of lawmakers if he seriously violates the law, is guilty of serious misconduct or lacks the ability to perform his functions.

Zuma has denied wrongdoing over numerous corruption allegations that have swirled around his presidency.

Africa National Congress (ANC) confused over Constitutional Court's ruling that parliament failed to hold South African President Jacob Zuma to account for using tax-payers money to upgrade his private home, Nkandla. In October the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the National Prosecuting Authority to drop corruption charges against Zuma and ordered the president must face those charges in court. His deputy Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him as ANC leader in December, making him the front-runner to become the nation's next president. "By omitting to include such rules, the assembly has failed to fulfill this obligation". Dozens of EFF supporters, clad in their trademark red shirts and berets, danced and sang outside the court after the judgment was delivered.

The ANC says it will study the judgment and discuss it at its first NEC meeting next month.

In March a year ago, the Constitutional Court delivered a damning ruling in which it stated that Zuma had failed to "uphold, defend and respect the Constitution" when he did not adhere to the remedial actions called for by Madonsela.

Zuma has since repaid 7.8 million rand ($631,000) - the sum determined by the Treasury as the "reasonable cost" he should bear - while also surviving a no-confidence motion in parliament where members of own his party voted to oust him.

Handing down the judgement on Friday, Justice Chris Jafta, said the failure by the National Assembly to make rules regulating the impeachment of the president constituted a violation of the Constitution.

Opposition parties have argued that parliament has not done enough, given the gravity of the court's findings.

The opposition parties told the court that they wanted the establishment of a fact-finding ad hoc committee that would force Zuma to answer questions about his conduct during the Nkandla debacle.

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