The President's relationship with the truth

President Jacob Zuma at The New Age breakfast briefing, 14 Feb 2014

Pierre De Vos’ post titled In the age of consent, the buck stops with Number One is a typically lucid explanation why President Zuma’s contention that he was largely in the dark about (and perhaps shouldn’t even have known about) the upgrades to his Nkandla estate has “an adventurous relationship to the truth”.

De Vos explains why, both as President and Nkandla’s owner, he is ultimately responsible for the upgrades as well as the costs involved.

Whether you therefore invoke the secret Cabinet decree (which is overridden by the National Key Points Act) or whether you rely on the National Key Points Act itself – as would be legally correct – the golden thread that runs through these provisions is that any security upgrades at President Zuma’s Nkandla homestead could only have happened with the knowledge and consent of President Zuma himself.

The post is definitely worth reading, both for De Vos’ terrific choices of language and for his explanations of the legal and constitutional issues which can seem so complicated from the news reports and government rhetoric.


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