James Selfe MP, DA Federal Executive Chairman – 25 July 2017
The DA has today filed an intervening application in the matter currently before the Constitutional Court on procedures to be followed in the impeachment proceedings against any President.
The DA brought a motion in terms of section 89 of the Constitution on 5 April 2016 to impeach President Zuma following the Nkandla judgment which found that not only did the President violate the Constitution and that he and his family unduly benefited from the R246 million upgrade to the homestead, but also that he had failed to fulfil his constitutional obligations by ignoring the Public Protector’s remedial action.
On that occasion, there ought to have been a mechanism through which a prima facie case against President Zuma ought to have been formulated, whether through a parliamentary committee or through some other mechanism.
It is our view that not only did the National Assembly breach its constitutional duties by failing to institute effective impeachment investigations against President Zuma but further breached these duties by failing to create and implement effective mechanisms to allow for impeachment investigations and hearings, ahead of a Parliamentary vote.
We submit that the time to design and enact these mechanisms is now rather than when an impeachment motion is actually brought. This will allow Parliament the time and the space to enact mechanisms that will be fair to all concerned.
After reviewing the heads of argument made by the other applicants, the DA believes that our submissions will provide new evidence which will be of assistance to the Court.
For too long the ANC has provided a safe haven and, in President Zuma’s case, have chosen to shield those responsible for the continued looting of our country’s coffers for their own selfish benefit.
This case is vitally important as the Constitutional Court has the opportunity to provide guidelines for clear and proper procedures on impeachment proceedings, which will allow for those who break their oath of office to be held to account.
These rules should also ensure that no one party can use their majority to frustrate impeachment proceedings. They should also provide an opportunity, for instance, for the President to provide evidence in his or her defense or in mitigation.
This case forms a part of a wider push to ensure that President Zuma, as well as future heads of State, are held to account.
On 8 August, the DA will vote to remove Jacob Zuma in the vote on the Motion of No Confidence. We call on each and every Member of Parliament to put South Africa first and protect the Constitution by doing the same.
The DA has always sought to hold corrupt individuals to account and will continue to do so because if we do not do so now, it will be too late.