South African Church leaders have called for the resignation of President Jacob Zuma after a constitutional court ordered him to repay $A24 million he took from public coffers to refurbish his country house, reports The Tablet.
“In any normal democracy the State president would go before the nation tonight and announce his resignation,” Bishop Malusi Mpumlwana, general secretary of the 36-member South African Council of Churches (SACC), said after the ruling on March 31.
“But then we are not a normal democracy,” Bishop Mpumlwana added.
Work on Mr Zuma’s home in KwaZulu Natal, Nkandla, was estimated to cost $A6 million in 2009, but ballooned to $24 million by 2014.
The Constitutional Court, led by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, unanimously ruled that Mr Zuma failed to uphold the supreme law of the land and that his conduct was inconsistent with the constitution.
“I am proud of our justice system, the division of powers of government are still intact,” the spokesman of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops Conference (SACBC), Archbishop William Slattery, told The Tablet on April 1.
Russell Pollitt, director of Jesuits Institute South Africa, said: “I am not sure how he can and will ever recover from this judgment.”