Zuma’s time up – united op­po­si­tion

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - MAR­I­ANNE MERTEN

OP­PO­SI­TION par­ties were set to call for Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s re­moval from of­fice dur­ing to­day’s par­lia­men­tary de­bate on the Nkandla ad hoc com­mit­tee re­port, which cleared the head of state of any re­spon­si­bil­ity for the R215 mil­lion tax­payer­funded se­cu­rity up­grades.

In an un­usual move in­di­cat­ing the im­pact of the Nkandla de­ba­cle on the broader body politic, seven of the 12 op­po­si­tion par­ties at Par­lia­ment com­bined forces be­hind this call – and com­mit­ted them­selves to joint court ac­tion to chal­lenge any rub­ber-stamp­ing ef­forts to ab­solve the pres­i­dent of ac­count­abil­ity.

“If we don’t do that, we’ll be al­low­ing a sit­u­a­tion where the coun­try sinks deeper into a con­sti­tu­tional cri­sis,” ex­plained United Demo­cratic Move­ment chief whip Nqabay­omzi Kwankwa.

“It can’t be right that Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma’s cows live in a kraal that (cost) ac­tu­ally 10 times more than the price of an RDP house, or maybe more. We don’t mind if he pays for it, but it is at our ex­pense, the tax­pay­ers’ ex­pense,” he added in ref­er­ence to the R1m Nkandla cat­tle kraal.

Yes­ter­day, the seven op­po­si­tion par­ties tabled their own al­ter­na­tive Nkandla re­port – the pres­i­dent “knew full well what was un­fold­ing” and “un­con­sti­tu­tion­ally ig­nored” the pub­lic pro­tec­tor’s find­ings, it finds – ahead of try­ing to get it for­mally sub­mit­ted in the House dur­ing to­day’s de­bate.

The of­fi­cial par­lia­men­tary Nkandla re­port was com­piled by only ANC MPs with­out the op­po­si­tion par­ties par­tic­i­pa­tion, after they walked out.

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