South African President Jacob Zuma (pictured) may face impeachment as the country’s top court has ruled that the parliament had failed to hold him accountable for using $15 million of tax payer’s money for upgrading his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal.
Chris Jafta, a Constitutional Court judge who read out the ruling, called for parliament to institute rules that would provide for a president’s removal. Parliament said it would comply with the court’s instruction.
The court’s latest ruling followed its conclusion last year that Zuma violated the Constitution by spending public money inappropriately on his rural Nkandla home and not repaying the same. Zuma later paid $500,000, the amount decided upon by the treasury after last year’s ruling.
The opposition had been unsuccessful in the National Assembly to oust Zuma by raising issues against him like ‘Nkandlagate’ and the alleged rape of late Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo, a family member of his long-time friend, in his Johannesburg home in 2005. Frustrated by the failures, they finally moved the Constitutional Court.
Zuma is not popular in his own party in the wake of the scandals surrounding his official and personal lives. Recently, he stepped down as president of African National Congress party after a decade. His deputy Cyril Ramaphosa succeeded him after a close fight with rival candidate, Zuma’s former wife Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
Responding to the Constitutional Court’s ruling on Friday, ANC’s deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte said the party would discuss its full implications when its National Executive Committee meets on January 10, 2018.