2 minute read
11 Apr 2016
9:00 am

Pro-Zuma lawyers embarrassing

It’s scary to have so-called legal minds backing someone who was found by the courts to have violated the constitution.

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: (File photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Alon Skuy)

The refusal of ANC MPs to apologise to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela when she appeared before the National Assembly last week is another indicator why they don’t deserve to be addressed as honourable.

After all, these are the same officials who were recently bashed by the highest court in the land, which found they had breached their constitutional obligations in the Nkandla matter.

By refusing to swallow their big egos, they were simply taking their cue from their equally compromised National Assembly leader, Baleka Mbete, who last week also said she would not say sorry to Madonsela.

Last year, while presenting her budget to a parliamentary committee, some ANC MPs interrupted her while she spoke, accusing her of being friends with the DA. They criticised her presentation as meaningless and lacking in substance.

Last July, justice portfolio committee chair Mathole Motshekga, who led the hostility towards Madonsela, claimed the committee could not apologise to Madonsela because her report on Nkandla had “misled the nation.”

Mbete, Motshekga, ANC MPs and all defenders of corruption were badly exposed when the Constitutional Court found President Jacob Zuma and parliament were in breach of their constitutional obligations in the Nkandla matter.

It’s no surprise parliament last week failed to support a motion to impeach Zuma. Expecting a compromised institution to act on an equally compromised leader was asking too much.

In its damning ruling, the court found the president “failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution”. Yet a group of KwaZuluNatal lawyers backing Zuma even had the audacity to attack prominent South Africans who have called on Zuma to step down, saying their calls were motivated by hatred for Zuma and the ANC.

It’s scary to have so-called legal minds backing someone who was found by the courts to have violated the constitution, the country’s supreme law. They are an embarrassment to the legal profession.