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South Africa: A Court Order Gives Zuma's Rivals More Ammunition

01 January 2018

The Court found that although some action (Vote of no confidence) was taken by the National Assembly, the necessary processes to hold the President to account was flawed.

"We conclude that the assembly did not hold the president to account". He said the order served no "beneficial or practical purpose" given that rules were being made. His deputy Cyril Ramaphosa replaced him as ANC leader in December, making him the front-runner to become the nation's next president.

Together, these developments will give rise to new calls to strip Zuma of his position before South Africa's next presidential election in 2019, in which he can not participate, promising more trouble ahead for the lame-duck president.

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Political parties have welcomed the judgment, with the Economic Freedom Fighters saying it looks forward to Parliament developing the necessary rules that could initiate an impeachment process.

Jaftha opened the court session by explaining that four judgments were individually prepared with two each holding a different view.

Zuma has denied wrongdoing over numerous corruption allegations that have swirled around his presidency. "This is really now Ramaphosa's first real test to see if he can navigate a course for an earlier exit for Zuma with as limited a fallout as possible for the ANC".

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"The ANC will study the judgment and discuss its full implications when the National Executive Committee meets on the 10th January 2018", the party said in a statement.

Zuma has since repaid 7.8 million rand (631,000 dollars), the sum determined by the Treasury as the "reasonable cost" he should bear, while also surviving a no-confidence motion in parliament where members of own his party voted to oust him.

In March 2016, the Constitutional Court ruled that Zuma pay back some of the roughly $15 million in state money spent upgrading his private home on a sprawling compound in rural KwaZulu-Natal province.

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The EFF‚ the United Democratic Movement (UDM) and the Congress of the People (Cope) had asked the court to find that Parliament and National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete had not done enough to hold Zuma to account for violating the Constitution by using taxpayers' money for "upgrades" to his Nkandla home.

South Africa: A Court Order Gives Zuma's Rivals More Ammunition