The Presidency on Tuesday moved to correct media reports stating that the judgment by the Constitutional Court found President Jacob Zuma had broken his oath of office.
This follows last week’s ruling by the Constitutional Court that the President pay back some of the money spent on the non-security upgrades to his private Nkandla residence, in line with the remedial action contained in the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report.
“The Presidency wishes to correct media reports wrongly stating that the judgment by the Constitutional Court found that President Jacob Zuma had broken his oath of office.
“The Constitutional Court did not make such a declaratory order.
“In fact, whereas the counsel for the EFF, the Applicant, specifically asked for the Constitutional Court to declare that the President had acted in violation of his oath of office, the Constitutional Court did not grant a declaratory order in those terms,” explained the Presidency in a statement.
The Constitutional Court instead ruled that: “The failure by the President to comply with the remedial action taken against him, by the Public Protector in her report of 19 March 2014, is inconsistent with section 83(b) of the Constitution read with sections 181(3) and 182(1)(c) of the Constitution and is invalid”.
The Presidency said it requests the media to report accurately and use the precise words of the Constitutional Court judgment on the matter in order not to mislead the public.
President Jacob Zuma on Friday evening, in a televised address to the nation, said he “unreservedly” welcomes the Constitutional Court’s judgment.
President Zuma, who apologised for the frustration and confusion caused by the matter, said he respected the judgment and will abide by it.
He added that he never knowingly or deliberately set out to violate the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the Republic.
“I wish to reiterate that any action that has been found not to be in keeping with the Constitution happened because of a different approach and different legal advice.
“It all happened in good faith and there was no deliberate effort or intention to subvert the Constitution on my part.”
More on president Zuma