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Jonathan Ball

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, ‘the King Slayer, currently slaying the King’ – Richard Poplak

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng

Continental ShiftRichard Poplak, co-author of the recently released Continental Shift: A Journey Into Africa’s Changing Fortunes, has been tweeting live from the Constitutional Court, where it was ordered that President Jacob Zuma must pay back the money spent by the state on non-security upgrades at his Nkandla residence.

The Constitutional Court confirmed that the remedial action taken against Zuma by public protector Thuli Madonsela was binding, and that Zuma’s failure to comply was inconsistent with the constitution.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said the treasury must determine the reasonable cost of the upgrades not related to security‚ namely the visitors centre‚ amphitheatre‚ cattle kraal‚ chicken run and swimming pool.

The treasury must report back to the court in 60 days and Zuma must “personally pay back” the money within 45 days following that report.

Mogoeng also said the National Assembly acted inconsistently with the constitution when it absolved Zuma from complying with Madonsela’s remedial action. That decision was invalid‚ the court said‚ and was set aside.

Poplak described Mogoeng’s speech as a “smackdown”, and tweeted a picture of the Chief Justice with the caption: “King Slayer, currently slaying the King.”

“He’s gonna have to #PayBackTheMoney, as determined by the National Treasury. This is a complete and utter trashing of Zuma’s behaviour,” Poplak continued.

“Judgment handed down. I’ve never quite experienced anything like this. Everyone here is reeling.”

He added: “Make no mistake, whatever happens after this, today was a watershed moment in this country’s democratic history.”

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