It was over three years ago that the EFF won a powerful victory for the office of the public protector, by persuading the Constitutional Court that remedial action ordered by the watchdog body was binding, unless set aside by a court.

The ruling centred on then president Jacob Zuma’s failure to act on then public protector Thuli Madonsela’s order that he pay back part of taxpayers’ money spent on non-security upgrades to his Nkandla homestead. Instead, Zuma ordered the police minister, then Nathi Nhleko, to investigate and report on whether Zuma was “liable for any contribution in respect of the security upgrades”. Nhleko absolved him of any such liability.

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