NEWS
10/12/2016 10:40 GMT | Updated 10/12/2016 10:41 GMT

Maimane: Zuma And The ANC Have Abandoned The Constitution

"The drafters of the highest law in the land never foresaw that such a compromised and corrupt individual would be entrusted with bringing the Constitution to life."

Gallo Images
JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – SEPTEMBER 15: Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane during the party’s proposed new presidential handbook reveal in Rosebank on September 15, 2016 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Maimane has released a new proposed cost-cutting presidential handbook which he claims will ensure that whoever occupies the presidency is not given free reign with people's money. (Photo by Gallo Images / Beeld / Felix Dlangamandla)

President Jacob Zuma and the ANC have abandoned the constitutional goal of serving the people in favour of serving themselves, DA leader Mmusi Maimane said on the 20th birthday of the highest law in the country.

Maimane said on Saturday that the preamble of the Constitution commits freely elected representatives to uphold it, but Zuma had not done so.

"It is, therefore, a shame that President Jacob Zuma, who derives his authority from the Constitution, has been found to have undermined and violated that which he swore, before the people of South Africa, to protect, uphold and defend.

"The drafters of the highest law in the land never foresaw that such a compromised and corrupt individual would be entrusted with bringing the Constitution to life. In his time as head of state, President Zuma has only worked in antithesis to the Constitution," said Maimane.

He claimed that only the Democratic Alliance could deliver the commitments contained in the Constitution because Zuma and his party, the African National Congress, had "abandoned the idea of serving the people".

The DA has been accused by Zuma of using the courts to undermine democracy because of the numerous applications it has made against some of the president's decisions.

The Constitutional Court has, on application by the DA, ruled against Zuma's appointment of Menzi SImelane as a National Director of Public Prosecutions, and with the Economic Freedom Fighters, secured a ruling that Zuma had violated his oath of office by not heeding the public protector's report on money owed back to the state for the upgrades to his homestead in Nkandla.

Zuma is expected to address a gathering in Vereeniging, Gauteng, later on Saturday to mark the adoption of the Constitution in 1996.