The Methodist Church of Southern Africa welcomes the unanimous judgement by the Constitutional Court on the Nkandla matter. Of crucial importance is comment by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng that “ours is a genuine and vibrant constitutional democracy capable of self-correction and self-preservation… and that the rule of law is imperative for the survival of democracy.”
The clarification of the powers of the Public Protector is also welcome and will hopefully serve as a deterrent to any who would want to undermine any Chapter 9 institutions. The remedial action articulated in the Public Protector’ report and those expounded by the Constitutional Court must be implemented without further delay. The public resources that were wasted on unnecessary investigations are regrettable.
It is sad that the judgement found that the President violated the Constitution and his oath of office in that he “failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land…” Furthermore, he defied the orders by the Public Protector to pay back a portion of the money for the non-security upgrades to Nkandla, backed by the National Assembly which too was found to have acted unconstitutionally and in flagrant violation of their duty to protect the constitution.
These events call for President Zuma to do the honourable thing and resign to save himself, the ANC and the nation as a whole from further embarrassment and ruin. This will go a long way in assisting his supporters to accept his exit, without the polarisation of society. If this does not happen, we the people of South Africa must put pressure on the ANC and Parliament to ‘assist’ the President to vacate office peacefully and constitutionally. The president’s embattled term of office has been marred with too many unresolved claims and scandals including Nkandla, the Arms deal debacle, and the recent revelations of alleged State capture by the Gupta’s and the time has come to put the country first.
We further call on the South African public to learn from these unfortunate events and rally together towards building of a future that promises hope and wellbeing for all. We have a duty to protect our constitutional democracy for the generations to come.
We further pray that the National Assembly will in future act in a manner that demonstrates that they put the interests of the country first, uphold the trust placed in them by the electorate and are not just blind pawns and protectors of any individual.
This is the time to soak the nation in prayer and the MCSA calls on all people of faith to join together in prayer for peaceful resolution and possible transition into the post-Nkandla era.
Statement released by Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa
Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa