EFF blames Nkandla leaks on ministers

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www.techcentral.co.za

An aerial view of President Jacob Zumas Nkandla home.

Johannesburg - It is most likely that the security cluster of ministers leaked the Nkandla report to the media, the EFF claimed on Tuesday.

“... It (leaking the report) benefits them in order to discredit the work of the public protector since it (the report) does not favour the president they so much fought to protect,” said Economic Freedom Fighters spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

The EFF condemned the African National Congress Youth League and the SA Communist Party for the quick insinuation that the provisional report was leaked by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

“Inasmuch as the leaking of reports should be avoided, it is simplistic and irresponsible to immediately insinuate that the public protector is the first suspect.

“If the office of the public protector gives courtesy and prerogative to affected parties to peruse her findings and recommendations on contents she will be publishing anyway, it is unlikely that it benefits her to leak the report.”

The ANCYL said on Monday it seemed Madonsela had leaked the provisional report on her investigation into the upgrade at President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal to the media.

The SACP said on Sunday an investigation had to be launched into the leaking of the report under Madonsela's watch.

The Mail & Guardian reported on Friday that the leaked provisional report revealed that Zuma had received substantial personal benefits from the over R206 million upgrade at his homestead.

While government had stated that the upgrades were essential for Zuma's security, the newspaper reported that Madonsela found it 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.

Ndlozi said the security cluster would leak the report only because it could not stop it from being published, thus providing grounds to discredit the public protector and politicise a simple case of corruption and nepotism; crimes Zuma was allegedly committing against the people.

“The apologists' calls for investigations are also trying to position Zuma as the innocent, poor victim, which is consistent with how the man has managed to avoid accounting for his actions and answering to serious allegations of corruption in the past,” he said.

Ndlozi said society should avoid buying into the propaganda that Zuma was being targeted, or that he was an innocent victim.

“These are mere attempts seeking to divert attention from the critical questions on the table; the idea that a man in the highest office has been embezzling public funds for personal gain.”

He said the public protector had to be given space and time to release her findings and recommendations on the Nkandla investigation.

“Society must be defended from any attempts to delay and discredit the legitimate right to hear how the president of the Republic used public funds to upgrade his home and then falsely and knowingly claimed that it is for security enhancement.”

Sapa


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