Parly welcomes ConCourt ruling

National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete says last week’s Constitutional Court ruling on the remedial actions of the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla will guide Parliament in processing reports of Chapter 9 institutions in the future.

The Speaker said this when she, along with Parliament’s presiding officers, briefed journalists on the Constitutional Court judgement in Parliament, in Cape Town on Sunday.

“I have taken the time to study the judgement and this statement represents my preliminary observation. The judgement makes sound, balanced and critical findings. In an important way, these are major and most welcome lessons that will serve to guide our processes and approach in handling reports of Chapter 9 institutions in the future,” she said.

The presiding officer’s briefing comes after Constitutional Court Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng ruled that the processes that were followed in processing the Public Protector’s remedial actions relating to a report on the non-security upgrades done on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla resident were not consistent with the Constitution.

On Friday, the President briefed the nation in a live broadcast to respond to the Constitutional Court judgement.

In his address, the President said the judgement has further strengthened the country’s constitutional democracy and that it should make South Africans proud of their country’s Constitution and its strong and effective institutions.

He also said that the Constitutional Court judgement was a “ground-breaking” one in relation to the powers of the Public Protector, and that it further provided clarity with regards to the work of Chapter 9 institutions.

On Sunday, the Speaker said following the ruling, there was now legal certainty on the processing of the reports of Chapter 9 Institutions.

“One thing is certain – our democracy is alive and well. With the benefit of the judgement, certain matters could have been handled differently. We will use this judgement to guide the relevant processes in future.

“The Constitution is the foundation of our society.

“The Constitutional Court on the other hand is the guardian of the Constitution.”

“We appreciate the clarity provided by the court on all the matters which it dealt with. Indeed the Constitutional Court has affirmed the National Assembly’s powers and oversight responsibilities,” she said.

In the unanimous judgement, the Constitutional Court found that it was not correct for the National Assembly to pass a resolution that nullified the findings made and remedial actions that were taken by the Public Protector and in the process, replacing them with its own findings and remedial actions.

The Speaker said the National Assembly, and broadly Parliament, respects the Constitution and would ask leaders of Parliament for a meeting to discuss the judgement.

Meanwhile, the Speaker said there has been a request for a debate on the implication of this judgement on the National Assembly.

She also said that a motion on the removal of the President, which was tabled by the Democratic Alliance, has been considered and the debate on the motion has been scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Source: South African Government News Agency