Open Letter from MP Bantu Holomisa to the Speaker of Parliament Ms. Baleka Mbete: “Request for Disiplinary Enquiry against President Zuma” (07.04.2016)

baleka

Ms Baleka Mbete

Speaker to the National Assembly

Republic of South Africa

Private Bag X15
Cape Town
8000

Dear Honourable Speaker

REQUEST FOR A DISCIPLINARY ENQUIRY AGAINST PRESIDENT ZUMA.

The above matter has reference.

Following the scathing Constitutional Court judgment delivered on the 31st of March instant, and found amongst others: “

“Consistent with this constitutional injunction, an order will thus be made that the President’s failure to comply with the remedial action taken against him by the Public Protector is inconsistent with his obligation to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic; to comply with the remedial action taken by the Public Protector; and the duty to assist and protect the office of the Public Protector to ensure its independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness”.

A barrage of vicious attacks was meted against the office of the Public Protector and the Public Protector, by amongst others, members of the National Assembly; to a point of accusing her of misleading the nation. This grave misconduct has adversely affected the operations, performance and effectiveness of the Public Protector. Notwithstanding the clarity given by the Constitutional Court, the President, in his public half-hearted apology, failed to express himself on this matter of national interest.

In July, justice portfolio committee chairperson Dr. Mathole Motshekga told the Nkandla ad hoc committee: “We should not, and cannot, apologise when we say the report of the public protector is misleading and has misled the nation.”

The National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, led by the chairperson, Dr. Mathole Motshekga and Ms Thandiswa Mahambehlala brutally attacked the person of the public protector. This may have led to the economic embargo against the office of the Public Protector.

News 24 reported on the 3rd of April 2016; attribute the following to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete; “Now I don’t know who owes the public protector an apology about what because as far as Parliament is concerned, the situation has been explained,” she said.

It is my considered view, that the National Assembly has a Constitutional obligation to hold the President accountable on this matter. He has the duty to assist and protect the office of the Public Protector to ensure its independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness.

ZAPIRO Public Protector

Further, the Constitutional Court found, against the President: “Consistent with this constitutional injunction, an order will thus be made that the President’s failure to comply with the remedial action taken against him by the Public Protector is inconsistent with his obligation to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic; to comply with the remedial action taken by the Public Protector; and the duty to assist and protect the office of the Public Protector to ensure its independence, impartiality, dignity and effectiveness”.

Schedule 2 of the Constitution under Oath or solemn affirmation of President and Acting President provides: “The President of Acting President, before the Chief Justice, or another judge designated by the Chief Justice, must swear/affirm as follows: In the presence of everyone assembled here, and in full realisation of the high calling I assume as President/Acting President of the Republic of South Africa, I, A, B., swear/solemnly affirm that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, and will obey, observe, uphold and maintain the Constitution and all other law of the Republic; and I solemnly and sincerely promise that I will always –

  • promote all that will advance the Republic, and oppose all that may harm it;
  • protect and promote the rights of all South Africans;
  • discharge my duties with all my strength and talents to the best of my knowledge and ability and true to the dictates of my conscience;
  • do justice to all; and
  • devote myself to the well-being of the Republic and all of its people”.

The President has on numerous occasions, and with regard to the report of the Public Protector and the security upgrades at his private homestead; made statements in the National Assembly, which were not accurate and may be bordering on perjury.

To date, the nation as has not seen, the size and colour of a piece of paper purporting to be a bond that the President told the National Assembly funded his private home. Access to this document was never granted to the Public Protector as reported.

Jacob+Zuma+March+17+2016

Above all, the President had the audacity to come to the National Assembly and made mockery on a matter affecting the whole nation. We can all remember him infamously saying “…Nkandla – Nkandla! Owu Thixo – wa-se – George – Goch!”

Accordingly, it is my considered view that the National Assembly is enjoined to institute a disciplinary enquiry against the President, in order to ascertain the gravity and the seriousness of the conduct of the President, as determined by the highest court of the land.

In this regard, I propose:

That a disciplinary enquiry be instituted against the President to:

1.1.        Investigate whether the President has not misled the National Assembly with regard to his pronouncement on the security upgrades in his private homestead as well as the report of the Public Protector; and

1.2.        Investigate the gravity and seriousness of the conduct of the President as determined by Constitutional Court on the 31st of March 2016, and in line with section 89 (1) of the Constitution.

That the composition of the disciplinary enquiry be made up of three retired judges given that the National Assembly is conflicted, and that its findings should only be subjected to a review by a court of law where necessary.

That a Multi-Party Committee be established to conduct a review of the current legislation governing security upgrades for public representatives in order to avoid further occurrence.

That the National Assembly, set up a process that will immediately address the economic embargo meted against the office of the Public Protector and ensure that it is sufficiently resourced to be able to discharge its Constitutional obligations independently, impartially, effective and with dignity.

Finally, the National Assembly has no choice but to hold the President accountable. Failure to do so, will send an unfortunate message to many other entities, that since the President was never held accountable, no one will have consequences for misleading the National Assembly under oath.

Kind regards

Mr. Bantu Holomisa, MP

President of the United Democratic Movement

Nkandlagate: the movie (Youtube-Clip)

“The saga of pres Jacob Zuma’s private home at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and his subsequent court case in the Constitutional Court where he was found to have “failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land…” (HC Vijoen, 2016).

Press Statement: DA calls on Public Protector to investigate Zuma over Guptagate scandal (18.03.2016)

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The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on the Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela, to launch an investigation into the alleged abuse of executive power by President Zuma, relating to the manner in which at least one ANC member was offered a cabinet position in exchange for committing to make Gupta-friendly executive decisions.

This follows revelations earlier this week by the former chair of Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises, Vytjie Mentor, who revealed that she was offered the job of Minister of Public Enterprises by the Guptas on one condition: she “drops the SAA flight-route to India and give to them”. Mentor further alleges that President Zuma was on the Guptas Saxonwold premises at the time, in a room next door.

This voluntary disclosure by Mentor is part of an ever-growing list of ANC members who have publically admitted that they have been approached by the Guptas, including Deputy Finance Minister, Mcebisi Jonas, Public Service and Administration Minister, Ngoako Ramathlodi and former Public Enterprises Minister, Barbara Hogan.

These revelations directly implicate President Zuma, and after laying criminal charges against Atul and Ajay Gupta yesterday, it is our view that the Public Protector is most appropriately suited to deal with the matter at hand in relation to President Zuma.

The DA contends that the Public Protector should investigate whether President Zuma violated Paragraph 2(b) of the Executive Ethics Act by:

(iii) Exposing himself to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between his official responsibilities and his private interests;

(iv) Using his position or any information entrusted to him, to enrich himself or improperly benefit any other person; and

(v) Acting in a way that may compromise the credibility or integrity of his office or of the government

We trust that the Public Protector will take swift action and begin an investigation as soon as possible. Individual members of my caucus will also, where applicable, be lodging complaints with the Public Protector in respect of individual ministers who are in possible violation of the Executive Ethics Act.

In addition to this, I will be asking parliamentary questions to all cabinet ministers, to ascertain whether they or their the Deputy Minister(s) have ever met with any member of the Gupta family or attended any meetings at the Saxonwold Estate in Johannesburg since taking office; and if they have, what the details of each meeting was.

I have also already moved a substantive motion in the National Assembly (NA) requesting that the House establish an Ad Hoc Committee to investigate the close ties between the Gupta family and President Zuma, including their alleged involvement in the capture of State resources and their undue influence over the Executive. I will move to have this motion debated in Parliament’s sitting on 17 May 2016, and for the National Assembly to vote on this matter in that very sitting.

South Africa cannot afford to have the Gupta family using the South African government to further their own business interests. It cannot be that President Zuma’s close ties to one family are overlooked when these ties result in undue influence over government business. 8.2 million jobless South Africans deserve better.

“Nkandla is about much more than paying back the money” – Bokamoso by Mmusi Maimane

“DA Leader, Mmusi Maimane, explains why the DA chose to reject President Jacob Zuma’s offer to settle his Nkandla debt out of court “

Nkandla: DA to proceed with arguments before the ConCourt (03.02.2016)

DA 03.02.2016

These are the remarks delivered at a press conference held in Parliament. The Leader was joined by the Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive, James Selfe MP, and DA shadow Minister of Justice, Adv Glynnis Breytenbach MP.

The DA, after taking legal advice, has decided to proceed with presenting our Heads of Argument before the Constitutional Court scheduled for Tuesday, 09 February 2016. In so doing we will be seeking the relief outlined in our Notice Of Motion.

The DA notes the settlement offer made by President Zuma but contends that the contents of his settlement offer do not comply with the remedial actions as ordered by the Public Protector in her report entitled Secure in Comfort. In fact, we contend that the President designating the Auditor-General (A-G) to come to a determination as to how much he is liable is the latest attempt to establish a parallel process, for a fifth time.

Specifically, the DA will argue that President Zuma’s failure to engage rationally with the Public Protector’s findings and remedial action pertaining to him was manifestly irrational, illegal and unconstitutional. We furthermore contend that the President’s decision to substitute the remedial action ordered by the Public Protector with a determination by the Police Minister, SIU or Parliament  on whether he was liable for any of the costs was illegal and unconstitutional.

Legal precedent at present, as established by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA), is very clear that “an individual or body affected by any finding, decision or remedial action taken by the Public Protector is not entitled to embark on a parallel investigation process to the of the Public Protector, and adopt the position that the outcome of that parallel process trumps the findings taken by the Public Protector.”

Furthermore, should an affected body or individual seek to challenge the findings and remedial actions of the Public Protector they should do so by way of a review application in a court of law. The President to date has not done so; he has instead frustrated the work of the Public Protector by way of erecting parallel processes, which have no legal basis.

Legal certainty about the powers of the Public Protector, and the force and effect of remedial action taken by the Public Protector, are vital to the successful functioning of our constitutional democracy. That is why the Democratic Alliance (DA) took the SABC and the Minister of Communications to court when they disregarded the remedial action ordered by the Public Protector to suspend Mr Hlaudi Motsoeneng, and to institute disciplinary proceedings against him.

It is clear that the President Zuma has deployed a contingent of Ministers and ANC Members of Parliament to defend the indefensible act of constructing a palace at the expense of the people of the Republic. Those doing the President’s bidding have even gone as far as ignoring Court judgements in order drive a political agenda, despite swearing in their oath of office to uphold the Rule of Law and the Constitution of the Republic. Now before the highest Court in the land, we are confident that the Constitutional Court will bring the Nkandla matter to its logical conclusion by determining that President Zuma do what the Secure in Comfort report by the Public Protector ordered; which is that he pay back a reasonable percentage of the costs of the non-security upgrades to his private residence.

For too long President Zuma and the ANC have abdicated their responsibility to uphold the Rule of the Law and the Constitution, but have done everything to undermine to the work of the Public Protector and the Constitution.

The Constitutional Court will, on Tuesday, consider this matter in order to provide legal certainty about the Public Protector’s powers. The law has been developed in some degree in the Schippers judgment, confirmed by the SCA and that the Constitutional Court will rule definitively on the matter.

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