SCA’s Motsoeneng Judgement a victory for the DA

By James Selfe MP, Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive:

The Democratic Alliance is pleased by today’s judgement on the DA’s review application by the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) which ordered the suspension of Hlaudi Motsoeneng pending disciplinary action against him as is consistent with the remedial action ordered by the Public Protector.

The SABC is now compelled by the Court to institute the disciplinary proceedings as is ordered by the Public Protector. The disciplinary proceedings must begin in the next fourteen days and be completed within a 60-day period. Mr Motsoeneng, however, must now be suspended with immediate effect.

The SCA vindicated the DA’s position by determining that “the office of the Public Protector, like all Chapter Nine institutions, is a venerable one. Our constitutional compact demands that the remedial action taken by the Public Protector should not be ignored…any affected person or institution aggrieved by a finding, decision or action taken by the Public Protector might…challenge that by way of a review application.”

Further to this, the SCA has determined 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 taken by the Public Protector.” This judgement has serious ramifications for President Jacob Zuma and his liability for the R246 million Nkandlagate scandal into which taxpayer Rands were plunged.

The President effectively acted in direct contravention of established legal precedent when he appointed the Police Minister to make a determination of how much he was liable for the non-security upgrades at Nkandla. This clearly constituted a “parallel process” which is clearly not in line with due process.

President Zuma must face the music and simply pay back the money.

One thing is clear: there is an obligation on Hlaudi, Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, the SABC and President Jacob Zuma – on the Nkandlagate scandal – to uphold and give effect to the findings of the Public Protector.