Nkandla ‘ethics’ probe requested

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IOL pic sep27 jacob zuma Independent Newspapers File photo of President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Neil Baynes

Cape Town - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has been asked to investigate whether President Jacob Zuma is in breach of the code of ethics governing members of the executive in connection with his Nkandla home.

Constitutional law professor Pierre de Vos asked Madonsela to investigate on Wednesday. In terms of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, she must submit a report within 30 days of receiving a complaint.

Madonsela is already investigating the reported spending of about R250 million in public funds on Zuma’s private Nkandla residence, connected to upgrading security.

De Vos wants her to clear up whether or not Zuma misled Parliament when he said he and his family had built all the non-security-related features at Nkandla and were still paying off a bond.

City Press reported that it could find no bond in Zuma’s name - but the Presidency insisted there was one and that proof would be provided to an authorised agency.

Media reports speculated that the bond was one referred to as having been issued by FNB in papers related to the corruption trial of Zuma’s former financial adviser Schabir Shaik.

FNB home loans chief executive Jan Kleynhans said the bank did not grant home loans to individuals on tribal land as they did not own it.

De Vos said this meant there was “no clarity” on whether the non-security-related building work at Nkandla was indeed financed by Zuma and his family, as he had told the National Assembly, or whether any other benefactors were involved.

“Neither is there clarity over whether a bond was ever registered over the Nkandla home and whether President Zuma is indeed still paying off that bond…”

The Presidency said an “authorised agency or institution empowered by the law” would be shown the proof.

“Such an agency is the public protector,” De Vos said.

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