Zuma starts 2018 as a weaker leader, says analyst

File: Political analyst Lukhona Mnguni said President Jacob Zuma starts 2018 as a weaker leader. Photo: REUTERS / Siphiwe Sibeko

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma starts 2018 as a weaker leader and his role has become ceremonial following damning judgements delivered by the courts in December, said political analyst Lukhona Mnguni.

"He's certainly much more weaker as the president of the country. I mean if you look at the two judgments effectively confirming that he cannot act in his capacity as a president and fulfill constitutional prescribed duties of appointing director of public prosecution and also appoint judiciary commission to the matter of state capture as prescribed by the public protector that the chief justice must select and that president is just a ceremonial role just make sure that he confirms the appointment," he said.

READ: 2017: the year of endless court battles for Jacob Zuma

Zuma was slapped with a number of damning court judgments last year.

One of these said Zuma was "conflicted" and could not appoint the director of public prosecutions after Shaun Abrahams's appointment was set aside by the courts.

He has indicated that he would appeal the court's decision.

Another judgment dealt with the review of the Public Protector's state capture report.

In her report, then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had recommended that Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogieng appoint a retired judge to oversee the state capture inquiry.

The courts agreed with Madonsela.

READ: Zuma court appeal seeks to control appointment of prosecution boss

Mnguni said Zuma has no choice but to abide by the court's ruling.

"He has no choice in terms of who is selected to heard that commission. We now have the president of the country who is legally being cordoned off from certain duties that he has as president.

"He is being disallowed to act. There is no greater motion of no confidence than that because the ones on parliament failed. I think legally, the president has been given a serious motion of no confidence and that he is not fit and proper to act and that he is too conflicted.

"His charges might be reinstated. This could be a big year if that eventually happens after almost 10 years of running circles around legal processes to avoid standing down," he said.

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