Thursday, April 21, 2016

Impeaching Zuma

"Jacob Zuma’s home improvements violated South Africa’s constitution, court finds" by Norimitsu Onishi New York Times   March 31, 2016

JOHANNESBURG —President Jacob Zuma of South Africa maintained that the home improvements were necessary to ensure his safety and that the cost should be borne by taxpayers.

On Thursday, South Africa’s highest court ruled that Zuma had violated the constitution by refusing to pay back some of the millions of dollars in public funds spent on the improvements, saying he flouted laws meant to safeguard the country’s young democracy.

Dealing a humiliating rebuke to Zuma, the constitutional court’s 11 justices ruled unanimously that the president had “failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution as the supreme law of the land.”

The court ordered Zuma to reimburse the state for some of the upgrades once the national treasury has determined the appropriate amounts.

The ruling is significant, experts said, because it checks the conduct of an executive who has been accused of disregarding the nation’s democratic institutions.

Happening here, too.

It also affirmed the constitutional authority of the Office of the Public Protector, which has faced unrelenting attacks from Zuma’s party, the African National Congress, since ordering Zuma to reimburse the state in 2014.

In practice, however, the ruling may have little lasting effect beyond embarrassing Zuma and forcing him to pay back some of the money.

They call it democracy, and that was where the printed decree ended.

The ruling was the final legal verdict in a long-running scandal that, to many South Africans, has come to symbolize the corruption and arrogance in Zuma’s administration and the ANC, which has governed South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. 

I never realized how similar Americans were to South Africans.

“The constitution of South Africa has been upheld today, and Zuma must subject himself to that,” said Mmusi Maimane, the leader of the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, which started impeachment proceedings against the president Thursday. “If I was him, I’d be drafting a resignation letter.” 

It wouldn't really change much here and would only happen if Clinton were to run into real trouble and Biden were needed.

It was unclear how ANC members, who control the National Assembly, would react to the judgment against Zuma. In a statement, the government said that Zuma “will reflect on the judgment and its implications on the state and government, and will in consultation with other impacted institutions of state determine the appropriate action.”

But the party’s National Executive Committee, stacked with the president’s allies, said two weeks ago that it had full confidence in him.

In 2014, South Africa’s public protector’s office, whose duties are to investigate official corruption and misconduct, concluded that Zuma had misused public funds for his Nkandla home and directed him to repay a “reasonable proportion,” without specifying an amount. 

Because leaders and rulers begin to think it is their money, and why not? It just appears out of nowhere as far as they can tell.

In February, after two years of steadfastly refusing to repay the government, Zuma surprised opponents and allies by offering to reimburse some of the costs. 

As if that somehow makes everything all right. 

The offer, made by his lawyers in the constitutional court, acknowledged that he had been bound to follow the public protector’s directive.

The court affirmed Thursday that the public protector’s order had a “binding effect” on the president, a judgment that experts say clarifies and strengthens the role of the public protector’s office.


"Zuma impeachment debate begins in South Africa" New York Times  April 05, 2016

JOHANNESBURG — South Africa’s lawmakers began debating Tuesday a motion to impeach President Jacob G. Zuma after the nation’s highest court ruled last week that he had violated the Constitution in his handling of a long-running case of corruption.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, introduced the motion immediately after the Constitutional Court last Thursday said that Zuma had acted illegally by ignoring a 2014 order by the nation’s public protector’s office. The office had directed Zuma to reimburse the state for millions of dollars in nonsecurity-related improvements to his private home in Nkandla, in southeastern South Africa.

The motion, which must be endorsed by two-thirds of the national assembly, is not expected to pass. Zuma’s party, the long-governing African National Congress, controls 249 of the 400 seats in the assembly.

The ANC’s top leaders, as well as officials in the party’s rural strongholds, have expressed strong support for Zuma since the court’s verdict last week.


"South African ruling party rifts emerge over Zuma scandal" Associated Press  April 07, 2016

JOHANNESBURG — Splits in South Africa’s ruling party are widening because of unease over the leadership of President Jacob Zuma, whose apology for his handling of a spending scandal has failed to quell calls for his resignation.

Are South Africans as angry at their political $cum as Americans?

Zuma retains the support of powerful factions in the ruling African National Congress party, and on Wednesday he set Aug. 3 as the date for local elections that will test whether the opposition can capitalize on discontent with the president and gain at the polls. 

I'm told we are liking ours (pfft)!

Additionally, the South African Parliament on Tuesday defeated an opposition motion to remove Zuma after the country’s top court ruled that he violated the constitution in a scandal over millions of dollars in state spending on his private home. 

That, in a way, is approval.

Yet some prominent figures whose association with the ANC dates to its role as an anti-apartheid movement decades ago have said Zuma should quit.

On Wednesday, ANC veteran Cheryl Carolus joined activists, including church officials and academics, at a news conference outside the Constitutional Court where speakers denounced alleged corruption under Zuma’s administration.

‘‘This has happened on our watch,’’ said Carolus, who described herself as ‘‘deeply saddened.’’

Trevor Manuel, a former finance minister, and Ahmed Kathrada, a former anti-apartheid activist who was close to Nelson Mandela, have also urged Zuma to resign.

Those backing the campaign include the Anglican Church of SA, the Evangelical Alliance, the South African Christian Leadership Initiative, and the United Front.

The ANC’s parliamentary bloc said in a statement that Zuma was committed to paying back some state money spent on his Nkandla residence in line with a Constitutional Court ruling.

How about all of it and a little more like, you know, a fine?


Also seePossible future president in Brazil known as dealmaker

He's just as corrupt and is going to benefit, but Temer must be a toll AmeriKa can work with.