DA Face Off With Zuma in Two Court Cases This Week

Lloyd Doyle
September 13, 2017

"He has not, however, interdicted the remedial action, and in our submissions, he remains bound to carry out the remedial action ordered, including appointing the Commission of Inquiry", said Selfe.

"One of the points we raise is that the remedial action [prescribed by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela] is telling the president [Zuma] that he has no discretion on the matter but I as a functionary, a Chapter 9 institution, am telling you that you must appoint a commission of inquiry, and I even tell you how to go about it".

Zuma was responding to the DA's application for an order that he adhere to the Public Protector's remedial actions, establish a commission of inquiry and allow the Chief Justice to appoint a judge for the inquiry.

Madonsela made the recommendation in her report on investigations into whether Zuma's friends, the controversial Gupta family, had undue influence on the executive.

Advocate Anton Katz, SC, for the DA, countered that argument, saying that a court can make as many declaratory orders for unconstitutionality as necessary in conjunction with the amount of times that the president acts unconstitutionally.

The party is engaged in a legal tussle, opposing Zuma's counter-application which seeks a delay in establishing a commission of inquiry into state capture.

"When an organ of state, and in particular the president, says to the court "I've brought a review application against remedial action", then takes it upon himself that I don't have to comply until that review case is heard, we would suggest that her dignity would be compromised and ineffective".

Katz was critical of Zuma's argument that if he established the commission before the review was heard, that the review would then be rendered moot.

Madonsela in November a year ago gave the president a month to appoint a commission headed by a judge exclusively appointed by chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng because President Zuma was himself implicated in state capture.

"Until there is an order of court in place - suspending, setting aside or dealing with it [the Public Protector report] in any way - the president is disregarding the Public Protector's remedial action willy-nilly in violation of the rule of law".

The DA will be asking the North Gauteng High Court to find that, much like was the case in Nkandla, Zuma is in breach of his constitutional duties by ignoring the remedial action.

"There is no basis to approach the court for an application; the president has the power under the Constitution to appoint a judge to a commission", Semenya argued.

Advocate Hamilton Maenetje, representing the Public Protector, also told the court that Madonsela had made observations, and not findings, and that the observations should be delved into during the inquiry. "Here the president is implicated", said Maenentje.

He said this was enough to throw out the DA's application and that the constitutional power to appoint the judge in a commission is reserved for the president alone.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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