Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


S.Africa's top court slams Zuma over renovations dispute

31 March 2016, 19:19

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma flouted the constitution in using public funds to upgrade his private residence and must repay the money, South Africa's top court ruled Thursday, sparking calls for his impeachment.

The Constitutional Court delivered a damning verdict on Zuma's conduct after a swimming pool, chicken run, cattle enclosure and amphitheatre were built at his rural homestead as so-called "security" measures.

The president had refused an ombudswoman's orders to repay money spent on the upgrades, which became a symbol of alleged corruption and greed within the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party.

Also read: Trump suggests 'punishment' for women who get abortions

Zuma "failed to uphold, defend and respect the constitution as the supreme law of the land," Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said in a strongly-worded judgement.

The rebuke came as Zuma fights back against separate allegations that a wealthy Indian family influenced ministerial appointments in a scandal that has rocked his government.

Zuma has also been battered by the country's sharply declining economy.

But he retains a strong grip on parliament through his dominant leadership of the ANC, and any impeachment bid looked unlikely to succeed.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, the country's ombudswoman, ruled in 2014 that Zuma had "benefited unduly" from the work on the Nkandla property in KwaZulu-Natal province, and that he should re-fund some of the money.

The president reacted by ordering two government investigations that cleared his name -- including a report by the police minister which concluded that the swimming pool was a fire-fighting precaution.

Mogoeng said on Thursday that Zuma "must personally pay the amount determined by the national treasury."

The work was valued in 2014 at 216 million rand (then $24 million).

"President Jacob Zuma's action amounts to a serious violation of the Constitution, and constitutes grounds for impeachment," the Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa's main opposition party, said.

It added that it had officially begun the process to impeach Zuma.

Zuma weakened?

But the ANC controls parliament after winning elections in 2014, and Zuma easily survived a no-confidence vote earlier this month.

A successful vote to impeach Zuma would require a two-thirds majority in the assembly.

The DA brought the case to court along with the far left Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party.

"We call on the president to step down with immediate effect," EFF leader Julius Malema said. "We would call upon the ANC to do the right thing and recall the president."

Opposition parties hope Thursday's ruling will bring gains in local elections this year as frustration grows over 25 percent unemployment and grinding poverty for many black people more than 20 years after the end of apartheid.

Zuma has recently endured renewed corruption allegations after deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas said he was offered the top job in the treasury by the Guptas, an Indian business family said to hold huge sway over the president.

His standing was badly hit last year after he sacked two finance ministers within days, triggering a collapse in the rand and a major withdrawal of foreign investors.

"He enjoys less power inside the ANC than he did before firing the finance ministers in December," Aubrey Matshiqi, analyst at the Helen Suzman Foundation, told AFP.

"But the erosion in power he has suffered is not sufficient and does not constitute a direct threat yet to his position."

Zuma, 73, will have completed two terms in 2019 and is not eligible to run for president again, but the ANC could replace him ahead of the vote.

The ANC, which led the fight against white-minority rule and has ruled since Nelson Mandela became president in 1994, said it accepted the court judgement, while the presidency made no immediate response.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...