Opposition Parties Press Statement by Mmusi Maimane MP, Leader of the Opposition, and Julius Malema MP, Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, and Mosiuoa Lekota MP, Leader of the Congress of the People, and Bantu Holomisa MP, Leader of the United Democratic Movement, October 3 2014
Opposition Parties to table Opposition Report on Nkandla, to counter ANC study group report
03 October 2014
Events of the last two weeks have deeply and fundamentally concerned the collective Opposition Parties of South Africa.
It is clear that we face a situation where the governing ANC has abandoned its commitment to the Constitution.
And when the ANC uses its levers of power in Parliament, to contradict and overrule the Constitution, South Africa finds itself in a Constitutional crisis.
Events of the last two weeks, in the Nkandla Ad Hoc Committee and outside of it, should distress us all.
The ANC has used the Committee to deflect any and all liability from President Jacob Zuma for the R246 million he unduly benefitted at Nkandla.
They have overridden the loud and well-founded objections of the Opposition Parties, and they have all but negated the Public Protector.
All in defence of one man, the ANC would rather see the Constitution crumble.
Our withdrawal from the Committee was the strongest objection we could raise to the ANC steamroller of a whitewash outcome.
The ANC is intent on whitewashing the truth of what happened at Nkandla, and they are intent on blaming minor government officials.
Minor government officials are expendable to the ANC, so that they can keep President Zuma protected and unaccountable.
Minor officials may have been made liable too, but the Opposition will ensure that the chief offender at Nkandla is held to account. We know that officials became compliant in the Nkandla scandal by the influence of President Zuma and his agents.
We call on those who the ANC wants to make into scapegoats to come out and tell the truth, and the joint Opposition and all democracy-loving people in South Africa will stand up for any official who is prepared to speak out.
The fact that our President has not said a single word to account for the obscene amounts of money ploughed into his private home, should disgrace the ANC immensely.
But instead of dealing with that, and doing the right thing, they prefer to water down the very protections our constitution provides against these sorts of abuse of power.
When the rule can't be complied with, the ANC just denies the rule.
When the Constitution says that the Public Protector is independent, and must be supported in her work by all organs of state, including the President, the ANC denies this.
When the Constitution says that the Public Protector can take remedial action, the ANC denies this.
When the Public Protector produces a report, out of her mandate in the Constitution, the ANC denies her report has constitutional standing.
When the Rules of Parliament say that a committee can call any witness, including the President, to appear and give evidence, the ANC denies this.
When the law says that the principal agent on a building site represents the owner and acts on his behalf and in his interest, as the architect always represented President Zuma at Nkandla, and always acted in his interest, then the ANC denies this.
The fact is that the Nkandla Ad Hoc Committee has become an ANC Study Group meeting - and now, it might as well meet at Luthuli House.
We say this, because the findings of the Committee will be written at Luthuli House. The ANC members in the Committee will present a whitewashed version of events that lets President Zuma off with impunity.
And they will table that report before Parliament, and they will use their numbers in Parliament to ram it through, as if it is the will of the entire Parliament.
But today, we collectively say that such an approach of the ANC will not be accepted.
The Opposition, representing every person in South Africa who does not approve of corruption, who believes in accountability, and who will fight for the Constitution to be supreme, announces a counter action and counter measure.
The Opposition, collectively, disagrees fundamentally with the approach of the ANC.
We disagree fundamentally with the ANC submissions in the Committee since our withdrawal from the Committee.
We disagree fundamentally that the Public Protector's report can be subjugated and relegated to the bookshelf of optional reading.
We disagree strongly that a constitutional imperative to take remedial action, can mean anything other than taking action of a remedial nature.
We disagree fundamentally that the findings of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in any way absolve President Zuma from personal liability for the R246 million personal undue benefit at Nkandla.
We hold that the Public Protector, the highest independent investigation and remedial entity in South Africa has held President Zuma personally liable, and that he must therefore comply. President Zuma must pay back what he owes South Africa.
With these stated views, the Opposition will table an Opposition Report on the Nkandla Committee.
Our Opposition Report will be released to coincide with the tabling of the ANC's own study group report on Nkandla that they will table to Parliament after 24 October.
The Opposition will argue strongly for the Opposition Report to be considered by Parliament.
Additionally, we are awaiting the outcome of the Western Cape High Court in the matter of Hlaudi Motsoeneng's appointment, which will decide on the enforceability of Public Protector Remedial Actions. We will then approach the Constitutional Court to enforce the Nkandla Remedial Actions against President Zuma.
In our view, no outcome on the Nkandla scandal where the ANC is prosecutor, judge and jury for President Zuma can have any validity.
It is an alarming truth that the ANC will do anything in its power to protect President Zuma from any and all accountability.
The ANC will reinterpret and denounce the Constitution, and will use their numbers to vote for their own illegitimate opinions.
The Opposition has no choice but to withdraw of dishonest and dishonourable actions by the governing party, in order to have no part in these.
But we send to the ANC a clear message today that the Opposition will not stand for your blind adherence to a line handed to you by Luthuli House. The Opposition will not stand for your illegitimate and dishonest protection of President Zuma. And the Opposition will not stand for the Constitution being vandalized by the ANC of today.
This is of course a crisis that has been a long time coming. President Jacob Zuma has set us up for this crisis from the first of his accountability scandals years ago.
When he was removed as Deputy President for serious allegations and charges against him on Arms Deal corruption, he ganged up on President Mbeki and recalled him from office.
When 783 charges of corruption, racketeering, fraud and money laundering were put to him, he had the head of the National Prosecuting Authority removed.
When the Scorpions got too good at investigating corruption in his government, President Zuma had them disbanded.
When the courts seemed too independent he made sure to have his allies appointed to the judiciary.
When the speaker of Parliament in the last Parliament acted with impartiality to investigate Nkandla, he was removed and replaced with the ANC Chairperson.
The ANC of President Zuma will stop at nothing to protect Jacob Zuma from accountability for his many sins and crimes against this country.
But the Opposition will equally stop at nothing to ensure that President Zuma is brought to full account, and has his day in court.
Issued by the DA, October 3 2014
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