Historical Quotes from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s Nkandla judgment

Here are a selection of quotes from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s judgment on whether President Jacob Zuma should pay back some of the taxpayers’ money spent on non-security upgrades at his private homestead in Nkandla. By Naledi Shange

“She is the embodiment of a biblical David, that the public is, who fights the most powerful and very well-resourced Goliath, that impropriety and corruption by government officials are. The Public Protector is one of the true crusaders and champions of anti-corruption and clean governance.” – Mogoeng describing Public Protector Thuli Madonsela as David who had to go against the mighty Goliath and came out victorious.

“Her investigative powers are not supposed to bow down to anybody, not even at the door of the highest chambers of raw state power.” – Mogoeng explaining Madonsela’s authority.

“He [Zuma] appears to have been content with the apparent vindication of his position by the Minister’s favourable recommendations and considered himself to have been lawfully absolved of liability.” – Mogoeng suggested Zuma chose to accept the report of Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko because it was more favourable to him.

– “In the exercise of that constitutional power, the public protector acted, not against the executive or state organs in general, but against the president himself. Compliance was required only from the president. He was the subject of the investigation and is the primary beneficiary of the non-security upgrades and thus the only one required to meet the demands of the constitutionally-sourced remedial action.” 

– “By passing that resolution, the National Assembly effectively flouted its obligations. Neither the president nor the National Assembly was entitled to respond to the binding remedial action taken by the public protector as if it is of no force or effect or has been set aside through a proper judicial process. The ineluctable conclusion is, therefore, that the National Assembly’s resolution based on the Minister’s findings exonerating the president from liability is inconsistent with the Constitution and unlawful.” – Mogoeng said the Public Protector’s report and remedial actions had only been directed at Zuma and he had been expected to address the issues without any interference by the National Assembly.

– “If compliance with remedial action taken were optional, then very few culprits, if any at all, would allow it to have any effect. And if it were, by design, never to have a binding effect, then it is incomprehensible just how the Public Protector could ever be effective in what she does and be able to contribute to the strengthening of our constitutional democracy.”-  The Chief Justice explained that the Constitution was not for the selected few.

– “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.” – Mogoeng found that Zuma and the National Assembly had violated the Constitution by setting aside the public protector’s suggestions for remedial action.

– “The President’s alleged disregard for the remedial action taken against him, does seem to amount to a breach of a constitutional obligation.” – Mogoeng said Zuma had acted unconstitutionally when he disregarded the report. – News24

 

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