Parts of the Supreme Court of Appeal’s (SCA) rejection of SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s appeal against his suspension this week will be used to try rescind the reports of Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla.
Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane on Friday said he has written to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete “with an urgent request to convene a sitting of the House…in order to rescind the ad hoc committee reports…adopted…on November 13‚ 2014 and August 18‚ 2015.
“(On Thursday) morning‚ the SCA found that the remedial actions taken by the Public Protector‚ such as those against the President in her report Secure in Comfort‚ cannot be arbitrarily substituted or ignored and must be enforced absent a review application‚” said Maimane.
“Importantly‚ the SCA found that ‘an individual or body affected by any finding‚ decision or remedial action taken by the Public Protector is not entitled to embark on a parallel investigation process to that of the Public Protector‚ and adopt the position that the outcome of that parallel process trumps the findings‚ decision or remedial action taken by the Public Protector’.”
In light of these findings‚ argued Maimane‚ the adoption of two ad hoc committee reports – most recently that of the Police Minister‚ which found that President Jacob Zuma was not liable for any of the Nkandla upgrades – is “clearly invalid”.
“The judgement by the SCA vindicates the long-held stance taken by the Democratic Alliance in the ad hoc committees that the process of substituting the Public Protector’s remedial actions for alternative measures was irrational‚ illegal and unconstitutional‚” said Maimane.
“The only recourse left for the President – if he takes our courts seriously – is to take the Public Protector’s findings on judicial review.
“Absent a review‚ Zuma now has no choice but to comply with the remedial actions taken by the Public Protector and “pay a reasonable percentage of the cost of the measures that do not relate to security‚ and which include Visitors’ Centre‚ the amphitheatre‚ the cattle kraal and chicken run‚ the swimming pool.”
The SCA ruled on Thursday that Motsoeneng should be suspended for 60 days while a disciplinary hearing into his breaches is conducted.
Motsoeneng‚ the SABC and the Communications Minister were challenging an earlier high court order that action should be taken against him for receiving exorbitant salary increases and forging his matric qualification.
The SABC will now have to investigate him and bring a disciplinary case against him or face being in contempt of court.
The SCA in the summary of its judgement said that “remedial action by [the] Public Protector…legal effect…and cannot be ignored by [the] state and public institutions”.