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Nkandla job not finished – Madonsela

Cape Town -

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says her job on the Nkandla report is not finished until Parliament has considered it and President Jacob Zuma comments on it.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela at the media briefing where she released her report on security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla. File picture: Matthews Baloyi. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

But she did not want to be drawn into media reports that Zuma had said in Gugulethu, Cape Town, he would not pay back the money spent on his home because he had not asked for the upgrades.

“I have not seen a formal response to my report.

“It would be improper for me to comment on media reports on what he said,” Madonsela said.

She was speaking on the sidelines of a panel discussion on whistle-blowing hosted at Spier Estate outside Stellenbosch on Tuesday.

Zuma had until Wednesday to respond to the public protector’s report and forward it to Parliament, after Madonsela first made her report public 14 days ago.

Madonsela said the constitution stated she had to investigate, report and take appropriate remedial action against those found to be in the wrong.

“I never consider my job concluded until we follow each matter to its conclusion.

“I am expected to follow through with the implementation of remedial processes,” Madonsela said.

She said she was waiting for the Presidency to respond, and she wanted to address Parliament if it decided to debate her report.

Last week, National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu said they would consider whether to set up a parliamentary ad hoc committee to look into the report and how it affected Zuma once the Presidency had written to Parliament.

Madonsela said the Presidency had always complied with the deadline of 14 days.

She said people were focusing only on what Zuma had to do, while other remedial action included reprimanding ministers who failed to do what they were supposed to do.

Madonsela added that the country was slowly making progress in curbing corruption.

“That must not mean we should be complacent. It means the weaknesses picked up by the auditor-general, my office and others need to be addressed,” she said.

She said whistle-blowers needed more protection.

“Whistle-blowing has done great in exposing (darkness to light) in the government and private sector.”

She pointed to the arms deal probe and the investigation into the police leasing saga as examples.

“I could talk about various other things in the private sector, including the price-fixing of bread.”

Madonsela said some people were retaliated against if they blew the whistle while still in employment, while businesses were blacklisted if they blew the whistle about tender irregularities.

She said more political will was needed to introduce measures to protect whistle-blowers.

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