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Holomisa seeks costs order against Zuma

Publish date: 21 April 2017
Issue Number: 4207
Diary: Legalbrief Today
Category: Constitutional

A special costs order should be made against President Jacob Zuma for conflating his role as SA President and ANC president ‘in an abuse of process’ in opposing a secret ballot in Parliament’s motion of no confidence, suggests UDM leader Bantu Holomisa in papers filed in the Constitutional Court. In his responding papers on the matter, Holomisa says: ‘(Zuma) then starts to lecture the court about party discipline and gives chapter and verse of the ANC constitution and disciplinary code when his duty as President is to protect the Constitution of the Republic above all else.’ According to a Daily Maverick report, in his expansive 19 paragraphs under the heading ‘The Party Discipline Principle’, Zuma argued, that the ANC has the right to determine its own rules, like section 5.2.7 that requires ANC members to ‘observe discipline, behave honestly and carry out loyally the decisions of the majority and decisions of higher bodies’. If they did not, disciplinary proceedings may be instituted under section 25. Because MPs are elected to legislatures on party lists, Zuma argued, ‘this obliges a member of a party… to remain loyal to such party consonant with the expectations of voters who gave their support to the party. The obligation of loyalty to party is not inimical to the notion of an accountable, responsive, open and democratic government’. Holomisa disagreed. ‘The issue of party discipline seems to be the main reason for the opposition mounted. The ANC was specifically cited as third respondent and chose not to get involved apparently leaving it to its President to articulate party policy at state expense. This is an abuse of process. I am alarmed that the President would seek to use the Constitution, policies and procedures of the ANC in an attempt to engage in self-serving intimidation and scare mongering,’ he said.

Full Daily Maverick report