The South African government has said it will “reflect” on the Constitutional Court’s ruling relating to the renovation of President Jacob Zuma’s private residence.
Two opposition parties dragged the president to the Constitutional Court seeking an order to compel Mr. Zuma to comply with a 2014 finding of the Public Prosecutor, an anti-corruption watchdog, that he was liable for non-security improvements to his residence.
But the government argued that the improvements were all for security reasons and thus Zuma was not liable to pay.
In it’s ruling on Thursday however, the Constitutional Court said President Zuma was constitutionally obliged to respect the ruling by the Public Prosecutor.
The judge said the office of the Public Prosecutor, created by South Africa’s constitution when it became a republic in 1994 would have no dignity if her rulings were ignored “willy-nilly”.
The government after the ruling issued a statement acknowledging the Constitutional Court as a “final arbiter on matters of the Constitution in the Republic of South Africa”.
The statement further said: “The President and government will reflect on the judgment and its implications on the state and government, and will in consultation with other impacted institutions of state determine the appropriate action.”
The statement run short of spelling out the next line of action of the government or president. It ended thus: “Government will in due course communicate further on the matter.”
Analysts said it will be difficult for the ruling African National Congress to continue to have Jacob Zuma at the helm of affairs of the party after the Constitutional Court rebuked him on Thursday.
But the ANC said it will have to study the ruling of the court considering its “serious nature”.
Given the serious nature of the judgement delivered, #ANC will study it in detail and comment further in due course.— ANC (@MyANC_) March 31, 2016
Meanwhile, one of the parties in the suit, the opposition Democratic Alliance Party has already launched a campaign to get Zuma impeached.
It has already started using #ImpeachZuma on Twitter to galvanize support for a parliamentary process to remove the president from office.
Leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters Party, Julius Malema has also called on the president to resign.