JOHANNESBURG – The Constitutional Court, in its judgment on the Nkandla matter, has set out the duties of the president of the Republic of South Africa.
The court delivered a scathing judgment against President Jacob Zuma, saying he failed to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.
It ordered that, amongst others, Zuma must personally pay the amount determined by the National Treasury within 45 days.
The court said Zuma, as the president should:
1. As the first citizen of the country, Zuma’s position is indispensable for the effective governance of our democracy.
2. He has the constitutional obligation to uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the republic.
3. The promotion of national unity and reconciliation falls squarely on his shoulders – as does the maintenance of orderliness, peace, stability and devotion to the wellbeing of the republic and all of its people. He has a duty to guard against threats to the country’s sovereignty, peace and prosperity.
4. He is entrusted with the entire republic’s executive authority. He initiates and gives the final stamp of approval to all national legislation and almost all the key role players are appointed and may ultimately be removed by him.
5. The nation pins its hopes on him to steer the country in the right direction and accelerate our journey towards a peaceful, just and prosperous destination, that all other progress-driven nations strive towards on a daily basis.
6. He is a constitutional being by design, a national pathfinder, the quintessential commander-in-chief of state affairs and the personification of this nation’s constitutional project.
7. He is required to promise solemnly and sincerely to always connect with the true dictates of his conscience in the execution of his duties.
8. This he is required to do with all his strength, all his talents and to the best of his knowledge and abilities and, but for the deputy president, only his affirmation or oath of office requires a gathering of people, presumably that they may hear and bear witness to his irrevocable commitment to serve them well and with integrity. He is after all, the image of South Africa and the first to remember at its mention on any global platform.