We don’t owe an apology – Mbete

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete on Sunday said Parliament did not owe the public protector an apology following the Constitutional Court ruling on its handling of the Nkandla matter.

“I don’t know who owes the public protector an apology as far as Parliament is concerned… Our procedures are not being questioned by the judgment,” she told reporters.

Last week the Constitutional Court found that Zuma had acted inconsistently with the Constitution when he failed to comply with the Public Protector’s remedial action on the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.

The Constitutional Court also ruled that the National Assembly had flouted the Constitution when they chose to set aside Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report following her probe into security upgrades at Zuma’s Nkandla home.

Madonsela found that not all the upgrades – worth millions of rands – were linked to the president’s security.

The National Assembly established an ad hoc committee that produced two reports, both of which exonerated Zuma and stated that he did not have to pay back any of the money.

At a media briefing in Cape Town on Sunday, Mbete said that the judgment did not indicate that Parliament had done wrong:  “There is no ConCourt [judgment] that said we violated [the Constitution]. Some things were inconsistent…”

“There is a difference between saying a particular action was inconsistent with the Constitution… It’s different to saying you went out knowingly and violated the Constitution,” Mbete said.

“I don’t think Parliament or the National Assembly is in a position where our understanding is that we have done something maliciously for which we have to apologise.”

On Tuesday, the National Assembly will consider a motion by opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, for the removal of the president.

On Sunday, National Council of Provinces chairperson Thandi Modise told journalists that in terms of Tuesday’s vote, there would not be any influence over how MPs should vote.

“Members of Parliament can vote against, or they can abstain. That has always been the case.”

On Friday, Zuma apologised in a televised address to the nation, and said he had not “knowingly or deliberately” violated the Constitution. He ignored calls from various sectors to resign.

Subsequently ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters that the party was satisfied with the president’s response, saying that he had “humbled himself”.


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We don’t owe an apology – Mbete