Regard must be had to the higher standard of conduct expected from public officials, and the number of falsehoods that have been put forward by the Public Protector in the course of the litigation. This conduct included the numerous “misstatements”, like misrepresenting, under oath, her reliance on evidence of economic experts in drawing up the report, failing to provide a complete record, ordered and indexed, so that the contents thereof could be determined, failing to disclose material meetings and then obfuscating the reasons for them and the reasons why they had not been previously disclosed, and generally failing to provide the court with a frank and candid account of her conduct in preparing the report. The punitive aspect of the costs order therefore stands.
If the ANC decides not to have an early election, a President must be chosen within 30 days from among the members of the National Assembly. As Jacob Zuma is not a member of the National Assembly and cannot become one before the election because he is not at the top of one of their election lists, the question is who will take over as caretaker President until the next election.
Some newspaper reports have suggested the Speaker Baleka Mbete will take over. But she will first have to resign as Speaker before she could be elected President for the period until the next election by June 2009. Some suggests that Kgalema Motlanthe is not trusted by the Zuma camp but he should be the obvious choice for caretaker President until the 2009 election.
I am surprised the ANC has not said anything about this at the news conference. They have been very vague, merely muttering about “Parliamentary process”. If they want stability they need to tell us as soon as possible what the next move is. Or have they not yet decided on a next move? If they have not, they are even more irresponsible than I thought.
UPDATE: Two thoughts just came to me. Maybe the Presidency is referring to the requirement that the cabinet must designate an acting President from among its members and will only resign once the cabinet has designated one of its members to act as President? Also, maybe the President wants to resign in a speech to the National Assembly. Now that will be an interesting speech to watch!
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