Lunedì, 08 Febbraio 2016 14:13 | EFF marchers arrive at Concourt

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Johannesburg - The roars of EFF supporters broke throughthe solemnity of advocate Gilbert Marcus's argument in the Constitutional Courtfor Public Protector Thuli Madonsela who has come under fire over her report onthe

cost of improvements to President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla.

Earlier, police had unrolled barbed wire and blockedcloser access to the court by the Economic Freedom Fighters supporters who hadmarched from Newtown in Johannesburg, through to the court in Braamfontein.

The volume of the whistles and roars of supportersoutside grew as the judges grappled with submissions on the powers of the publicprotector.

The group of hundreds of people had carried red and whiteposters and climbed to the top of the retaining walls of the hilltop court,chanting ''pay back the money'', while a small group of DA supporters in theirbright blue T-shirts waited at a distance.

Marcus, for Madonsela, told the judges that the public protector'sefforts should not be undermined as this would make her institution"toothless".
He said that whether or not Zuma's actions were in good faith was a ''redherring''.

''It is no part of the protector's argument that thepresident acted in bad faith,'' he said.

One can assume that he acted in good faith, but theprotector believes he erred in law, submitted Marcus.

In his report to Parliament on April 2 2014, he says theministers in the security cluster were instructed to launch a fullinvestigation. He said the investigations by the ministers and the publicprotector started a ''parallel process''.

Minister ofpolice, Cabinet

Then the president summarised a number of reports hereceived and he stated he deemed it appropriate for the minister of police toreport to Cabinet on a determination whether he is liable for any contributiontowards the security upgrades.

The public protector responded by saying that she foundit difficult to understand why this was deemed as appropriate.

The only report making a finding that he and his familyimproperly benefited from some of the improvements was her report issued on March19.

She said the only remedial action was her report and thathis decision to involve the minister of police gave him power he does not have.

Her reports could only be judicially reviewed and setaside by law.

Marcus said the president himself could not be clearer inhis response where he says he ''must respectfully disagree with yourassertion''.

Outside the court, EFF leader Julius Malema said:"All we wanted was to get the president, the head of the executive to be accountable.That's all we are doing. We have no problem with the man, we have a problemwith everyone who is not compliant with the Constitution of the Republic ofSA."

The EFF, DA, and the public protector, want the court toclarify the nature and extent of the Chapter Nine institution’s powers to takeremedial action.

Earlier, Wim Trengove, counsel for the EFF, said that therespondents, National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and Zuma hadunconstitutionally ignored the Protector's findings.

Corruption Watch is also part of the case as a friend ofthe court.

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