BBC HARDtalk anchor Stephen Sackur has questioned the loyalty of South Africa’s Trade and Industry minister, Rob Davies, towards president Jacob Zuma in a hard hitting interview.
Sackur noted that the President is engulfed by allegations of corruption, abuse of power and cronyism. He asked Davies, who has served under the president since 2009, whether it is time for that loyalty to end?
“Minister, do you feel comfortable serving a President whose behaviour has been defined by the Constitutional Court as being in violation of your country’s Constitution,” Sackur asked Davies.
“Well, I think the point I would make is that the Constitutional Court and indeed, the High Court in Gauteng…none of the findings that have been made recently have required that the President should leave office. They have dealt with other issues and other remedial actions that are required, including the payment of the reasonable proportion of what’s deemed the ‘non-security update,” Davies said.
Sackur intejected. “Let me stop you right there. Minister, you’ve just thrown out a red herring in your first answer. It’s not the court’s job to tell a politician to leave office. It’s the court’s job to find whether or not he’s behaving in line with the Constitution and he’s patently not.
“From there, my question is simple. Are you comfortable serving a President who is violating the Constitution?”
“As I said, there’s no legal or Constitutional reason for the President to leave office. It becomes a political question,” Davies said.
The interview continued in an aggressive manner, which you can watch here.