ANC calls for release of Nkandla report

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The ANC, while welcoming the inter-ministerial task team report on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, was still concerned by the amount spent on the upgrade. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

Johannesburg - The ANC wants Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to release her report on the Nkandla security upgrade, party secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Tuesday.

"We are concerned with the regularity with which provisional reports from the office of the Public Protector are leaked... We get a debate going on before the report is released," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"The African National Congress equally demands that the final report by the Public Protector into the security upgrade at Nkandla be released to the public as a matter of extreme urgency."

He said the ANC had instructed the government to make available to the public all the experts who had decided on and designed all the elements of the security feature at Nkandla.

"These experts must explain their decisions and designs in the public domain," he told reporters in Johannesburg.

"This must be done to ensure that all and any queries that the public may have with regard to these particular issues are tabled and responded to exhaustively."

He said the ANC wanted Madonsela to clarify whether Zuma had requested any security upgrades to his homestead.

"Did President Zuma request that a swimming pool and kraal be built and that his wife's tuck shop to be moved from its original position?"

Mantashe said the ANC was not angry at Madonsela, but was unhappy about the patterns of leaking reports from her office.

"We appreciate what she is doing. She is in fact doing a good job. What worries us is the behaviour... The Public Protector must not release snippets but a final report.

"Our plea is that the final report must be released."

He said any postponement of releasing the report could be interpreted only as a delaying tactic and a political ploy to create negativity around the image and the integrity of the president of the ANC and the party itself.

The Mail&Guardian reported on Friday that a leaked provisional report by Madonsela revealed Zuma had received substantial personal benefits from the multi-million rand upgrade to Nkandla.

While the government had stated that the upgrades were essential for Zuma's security, the newspaper reported that the upgrade was found by Madonsela to include a swimming pool, visitors' centre, amphitheatre, cattle kraal, marquee area, extensive paving, and new houses for relatives.

Madonsela's spokeswoman Kgalalelo Masibi said on Friday it was unethical and unlawful to publish the Public Protector's provisional reports.

"It violates section 7(2) of the Public Protector Act 23, 1994," she said in a statement.

Mantashe said the ANC also wanted to know what part of the homestead was built on state land and who had made this decision; and how much had been spent on the security upgrade and how this compared with the expenditure on the home of former state presidents.

He refused to state whether the ANC would take action against Zuma if he was found to have lied and misled parliament.

"There are parliamentary rules. Parliament does not use the ANC constitution. This matter is for Parliament to determine," he said.

 

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