Cape Town - The DA says it has found “new evidence” that President Jacob Zuma misled Parliament on the security upgrades at his Nkandla residence.
The evidence, according to the party, is contained in parliamentary replies that imply Zuma was aware of the details of the upgrades.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said in her report she had found Zuma had not intentionally misled Parliament.
But the DA says the new evidence gives it more grounds to call for Zuma’s removal as president over the R245 million in upgrades.
DA caucus chairman Wilmot James said the new evidence suggests that Zuma may have “deliberately” misled Parliament and “violated the constitution and the law”.
He said this warranted a full parliamentary investigation.
“Today, we are presenting further evidence that we will be submitting to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Max Sisulu, at the first available opportunity to support the removal of President Zuma.”
DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said she had asked Zuma a question in Parliament on Nkandla on November 13, 2012.
In his response, Zuma said: “I have never asked government to build a home for me, and it has not done so. The government has not built a home for me. What government did, given its own considerations of security, was to build other houses beyond my home for the security personnel. These are not shown on television and these are really the government’s houses, but I do not know how much they cost.”
In a separate oral response, Zuma discusses the improvements to his Nkandla residence.
“Actually, I was informed that improvements needed to be made at the family residence to enhance the security of the head of state.
“The nature and form of improvement were decided upon by the relevant officials through their departments. As already indicated, such information would not include details on the specifics about what would be done by whom and at what cost.”
Mazibuko said this response was the most “revealing”, because it provided an insight into whether the president was willing to put on record that he was aware of the details of the project. “(He) made two key points during his reply. The first acknowledged that he was fully aware of the difference between his involvement in his personal renovations to his home, and those being organised by the state.”
Luzuko Jacobs, spokesman for Parliament, said this week that Sisulu’s letter to the DA had been misinterpreted as saying he would consider setting up an ad hoc committee.
Sisulu had said merely that he was considering Mazibuko’s request for a notice of a motion to establish an ad hoc committee and would come back to her about this, Jacobs added. It had been “mischievous” to interpret Sisulu’s statement as saying a “first step would be taken towards impeachment proceedings against Mr Zuma”.
“Mr Sisulu’s intentions will be made clear when he responds, as indicated in his preliminary reply.”
Mazibuko said: “The parliamentary spokesman is splitting hairs. If the prima facie evidence is substantial enough, they then have an opportunity to defend themselves before an ad hoc committee that is put together on a proportional basis. That is an impeachment.”