Concourt DID find Zuma failed to uphold Constitution

The Presidency issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon to “correct media reports” regarding whether the Constitutional Court last week found Jacob Zuma had broken his oath of office.

The statement was sent to the media during the more than an hour long break of the National Assembly, which was due to debate a motion to remove Zuma from the Presidency.

In the statement, the Presidency writes: “The Presidency wishes to correct media reports wrongly stating that the judgement by the Constitutional Court found that President Jacob Zuma had broken his oath of office. The Constitutional Court did not make such a declaratory order.

“In fact, whereas the counsel for the EFF, the Applicant, specifically asked for the Constitutional Court to declare that the President had acted in violation of his oath of office, the Constitutional Court did not grant a declaratory order in those terms.”

Instead, the Presidency said, the Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma’s failure “to comply with the remedial action taken against him, by the Public Protector in her report of 19 March 2014, is inconsistent with section 83(b) of the Constitution read with sections 181(3) and 182(1)(c) of the Constitution and is invalid”.

In the body of the Constitutional Court’s judgment however, the following is stated: “The President thus failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. This failure is manifest from the substantial disregard for the remedial action taken against him by the Public Protector in terms of her constitutional powers.”

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos commented on the statement on Twitter, saying the discrepancy was “semantics”.

— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) April 5, 2016

— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) April 5, 2016

— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) April 5, 2016

— Pierre de Vos (@pierredevos) April 5, 2016

Zuma’s oath of office as president of South Africa includes swearing to “obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other Law of the Republic”.

The Presidency closed its statement with the following: “We wish to request the media to report accurately and use the precise words of the Constitutional Court judgment on the matter in order not to mislead the public.”

Read the Presidency’s full statement here.


These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Advertising

ConCourt settles the law on the public protector and interim...

The Constitutional Court said it welcomed robust debate but criticised the populist rhetoric in the battle between Busisiwe Mkhwebane and Minister Pravin Gordhan

Small towns not ready for level 3

Officials in Beaufort West, which is on a route that links the Cape with the rest of the country, are worried relaxed lockdown regulations mean residents are now at risk of contracting Covid-19
Advertising

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday