Just a few days before the ANC elects a new leader, the party’s outgoing president Jacob Zuma was dealt a heavy blow by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.
In a landmark judgment by a full bench of the court on Wednesday, Zuma’s review of the recommended remedial action by the former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in her report on state capture was dismissed with costs.
Zuma was directed to appoint a commission of inquiry within 30 days. The inquiry is to be headed by a judge chosen by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. This was in line with the remedial action set out by Madonsela.
The judgment, handed down by Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, lambasted Zuma for abusing the judicial process.
Here are 13 quotes from the ruling that dealt a blow to the president:
1) “None of the grounds of review (in Zuma’s application) have any merit and the president is not entitled to the relief that he seeks. The remedial action taken by the Public Protector is lawful, reasonable, rational and appropriate.”
2) “By his utterances in Parliament and in the press statement issued by the Presidency, the president indicated in the clearest possible terms that he accepts the necessity of establishing the judicial commission of inquiry referred to in the remedial action. This undoubtedly amounted to a pre-emption.”
3) “The personal conflict of the president presents an insurmountable obstacle for [him] and lends credence to the conception of the remedial action by the Public Protector.”
4) “The review application was a clear non-starter and the president was seriously reckless in pursuing it as he has done.”
5) “His (Zuma’s) conduct falls far short of the high standard expressed in section 195 of the Constitution (which deals with the basic values and principles governing public administration).”
6) “We are of the view that the president was ill-advised and reckless in launching a challenge against the remedial action of the Public Protector.”
7) “He (Zuma) is aware that since the allegation of state capture surfaced and more so after the Public Protector report, the matter remains in the public domain and requires decisive action and a resolution. This court challenge has resulted in further delay of the resolution of the state capture investigation.”
8) “The president had no justifiable basis to simply ignore the impact of this corruption on the South African public.”
9) “His conduct falls far short of the expectation on him as of the head of state to support institutions of democracy.”
10) “The remedial action of the Public Protector presented him with an opportunity to confront and address the problem.”
11) “The failure to verify (former deputy finance minister) Mr (Mcebisi) Jonas’ allegations (against the Guptas) may also have infringed the provisions of section 24 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act. There is no evidence of action taken by anyone to verify (former ANC MP) Ms (Vytjie) Mentor’s allegations.”
12) “Having come to this finding, it is unnecessary to consider the interesting question of whether the president was vindicating his personal interest when initiating this litigation.”
13) “It is time for the courts to seriously consider holding officials who behave in a high-handed manner personally liable for costs incurred.” — News24