Johannesburg - The ANC's response to the Public Protector's findings on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead was riddled with inaccuracies, the DA said on Thursday.
“The ANC is clearly a political party which has abandoned its proud legacy,” said Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko.
“Today, it is a party that protects corrupt politicians, instead of firing them.”
The African National Congress held a news briefing in the morning to comment on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's findings.
Secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the party had no intention of undermining the report.
“We are neither intending to ignore or undermine the validity of the report. There is no such intention within the ANC,” Mantashe told reporters at the party's headquarters in Johannesburg.
Mazibuko said there was a deafening silence on what the party intended to do to ensure that Zuma and other ministers implicated in wrongdoing were held accountable.
“There will be no special NEC (national executive council) meeting to consider the matter, and President Zuma has not been asked to resign or even to apologise to the nation,” said Mazibuko.
The ANC said it felt no need to apologise.
“If there is a need for an apology, it can't be the ANC. If need be, it can be from the president or it may be by the relevant ministers,” Mantashe said.
“The ANC does not have a house called Nkandla. It has a house called Chief Albert Luthuli.”
Mazibuko said Mantashe focused on “similarities” between the public works task team report and the Public Protector's report.
“This is massively disingenuous. The task team report is patently a government-sponsored whitewash, only 36 pages in length, which was unlawfully and improperly classified by (Public Works) Minister Thulas Nxesi to protect President Zuma from scrutiny.”
Mazibuko called on Nxesi's report to be ignored.
Mantashe suggested that a legal review should be put in place to look at both the reports.
The DA however, said this was concerning.
“This is ominous and worrying and points to an increasing tendency by the governing party to undermine independent investigations,” said Mazibuko.
“Should this ‘legal review’ be pursued, the DA will seek to join the case as an intervening party Ä as we will do in the matter between the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Public Protector.”
The party called for all the ministers and Zuma to be held accountable and insisted on the impeachment of Zuma.
“The time has come for President Zuma to go,” said Mazibuko.