The concession by President Jacob Zuma’s legal team earlier this week before the Constitutional Court that the findings and remedial action of the Public Protector are binding and that President Zuma was obliged to pay a reasonable amount for the cost incurred in the building of at least five non-security related renovations at his private home, amounts to an admission that the President, the relevant Ministers and Parliament breached the law and the Constitution when it dealt with the Public Protector’s Nkandla report. Here is why.
The broadcasting of the Constitutional Court hearing (on several radio and television channels) on whether the President and Parliament acted properly when it second-guessed the findings and remedial action of the Public Protector regarding the state-funded renovation of President Jacob Zuma’s private home at Nkandla, was an excellent advertisement for that Court and for the legal profession as a whole. (more…)
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The Public Protector cannot realise the constitutional purpose of her office if other organs of State may second-guess her findings and ignore her recommendations. Section 182(1)(c) must accordingly be taken to mean what it says. The Public Protector may take remedial action herself. She may determine the remedy and direct its implementation. It follows that the language, history and purpose of s 182(1)(c) make it clear that the Constitution intends for the Public Protector to have the power to provide an effective remedy and direct its implementation.