Casac: Zuma showing contempt for Parliament

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma's failure to account properly on the Public Protector's report on his Nkandla homestead shows contempt for Parliament, the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) has said.

"The president’s failure to account properly, and fully, to Parliament, specifically in relation to the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla, has shown a contempt for Parliament and, therefore, for the Constitution," it said in a statement issued on Sunday.

"The president should be allowed to complete his answers to the questions that had been tabled for answer on 21 August, and to respond to any supplementary questions in the National Assembly. This should be arranged as soon as practicable."

Casac said it met at the weekend to discuss Zuma's response to the reports on the R246m security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had recommended in her report that Zuma repay part of the money.

Madonsela: Zuma second-guessing recommendations

She reportedly said to Zuma in a recent letter that he was second-guessing the recommendations she made in her report.

In his reply to her report, Zuma indicated Police Minister Nathi Nhleko needed to determine if he should pay back any of the money spent on security upgrades at the homestead.

"I am concerned that the decision you have made regarding the police minister gives him power he does not have under law, which is to review my decision taken in pursuit of the powers of administrative scrutiny I am given... by the Constitution," she wrote in a letter to Zuma.

The office of the African National Congress chief whip said on Sunday that Madonsela should respect Parliament's handling of the Nkandla saga.

"The public protector ought to respect the process that is currently underway in Parliament and refrain from engaging in extra-parliamentary processes," spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said in a statement.

"Our view is that, rather than directing her views to the president, she must await the ad hoc committee process where she would have an opportunity to table them."

EFF disruption in Parliament

On Thursday, EFF MPs disrupted proceedings in the National Assembly while Zuma was answering questions.

Tensions rose after Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema objected to Zuma's reply to a question about when he was going to repay part of the money spent on the upgrades.

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered the MPs out and later adjourned proceedings.

Casac criticised the "heavy-handed" decision to call the riot police to the National Assembly and the cutting of the live feed following the disruption.

"Such displays of state force will diminish a culture of tolerant debate and Parliament’s ability to provide a national forum for the public consideration of issues."

It noted there was "a history of gradual but persistent erosion of executive accountability to Parliament".

"Hundreds of written parliamentary questions remain unanswered. Often incomplete or insubstantial replies to oral and supplementary parliamentary questions are provided, which serve to undermine executive accountability," Casac said.

DerekMain 2014-08-25 10:08:15 AM
That's what we all say - "When are you going to pay back our money?" Phansi cANCer, phansi!!!
Chris Nash 2014-08-25 10:11:17 AM
Pay back the money !!
Nico Ratsela 2014-08-25 10:32:12 AM
#Payback our money.
Jaco JP Venter 2014-08-25 10:33:59 AM
My guest is soon South Africa is going go thru a dramatic political change,this is the end for Zuma and Mathashe and Cilryl Ramaposa.They and other big guns were abusing BEE for there own pockets and now the gravy train has run dry.I don't like Malema or agree with his ways of doing things but we also need to be grateful for him because he is keeping the ANC on there toes and very worried about his next move.But still Malema I don't trust u!!lol
Warren John Ashton 2014-08-25 10:35:31 AM
People zumba is above the law our comments is useless here we must stand together as a nation and stop paying taxes the cant put us all in prison
Michael Freeman 2014-08-25 10:41:32 AM
We all know this except Zuma and his bunch of thieves.
Jonathan 2014-08-25 10:55:06 AM
Careful Casac! Soon ANC supporters will say you're "siding with the DA"...
mmmmTim 2014-08-25 11:09:29 AM
Given that our President cares absolutely nothing for the Constitution, CASAC may as well take a long holiday until he leaves office, since they are actually achieving nothing. Who pays for CASAC anyway, the government?? In which case disband it as a waste of time - or prove yourselves useful somehow.
Jayden 2014-08-25 11:16:52 AM
He got no respect for the law , This is the only reason Zuma got rid of Mbeki to get his hands on the money to provide for the army of wifes and children .
Craig Harrison 2014-08-25 11:25:03 AM
Not to mention contempt for us!