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Many South Africans were glued to their TV’s yesterday, not watching the one day cricket, but the theatre unfolding in the Constitutional Court. The capitulation by the President, the Speaker and the Minister was enthralling to watch. After months of violating the constitution and defiantly resisting every demand from opposition parties to support the remedial action of the Public Protector, the ANC had its day in court but it had no defence to put up.

It was really no error on the part of the insolent ANC in the decision the ruling party took to render the Public Protector’s findings of no force and effect. The ANC acted in open defiance of the constitution. Furthermore, it acted illegally. The ANC set up a parallel process. It actively sought to second guess the Public Protector. It deliberately refused to accept section 182(1)(c) of the constitution which gives the Public Protector the power “to take appropriate remedial action”. John Jeffries and Mathole Motshekga gave ex cathedra pronouncements that nullified the Public Protector’s powers. COPE, all along, challenged their nonsensical stance and aggression.

It would be excellent if the constitutional court were to chastise the ruling party for violating the constitution and for not maintain the separation of power in respect of the executive and the legislature. Jeremy Gauntlet pleaded with the court not to do so. Ruling party MPs refused point blank to hold the President and Ministers accountable. Not one person from the ruling party was willing to urge the President to give effect to Thuli Madonsela’s remedial action. Not one single person. Disgracefully they continued to perpetrate a sham until yesterday when their unethical and immoral behaviour was exposed before the nation.

COPE refused to have anything to do with the ad hoc committee. We condemned the millions wasted in taking MPs to inspect Nkandla. Over many years Mosiuoa Lekota kept hammering away at President Zuma’s failure to honour his oath of office and to uphold and defend the constitution as he was required to. The ANC allowed the rot to set in and to extend in all direction. Today, parliament is in shambles. The economy is struggling. The national debt has soared into the stratosphere.

The problem was the ANC’s determination to trash the constitution and to trample on it. Voters who refused to punish the ANC for openly violating the constitution played a big role in plunging South Africa into a deep hole.

Whatever the Constitutional Court finds or does not find, South Africans saw enough yesterday to reveal how ANC MPs abandoned their constitutional obligation in order to defend the ill-gotten gains of President Zuma with no sense of shame. What a bunch of losers.

Issued by Dennis Bloem, COPE spokesperson

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