Nkandla report release delayed

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iol news pic NT Nxesi at Sadtu

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Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi

Johannesburg - An inter-ministerial report about the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home will not be released this week as planned, the government said on Monday.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and security cluster ministers were scheduled to release the report at a media briefing on Tuesday, said acting government spokeswoman Phumla Williams.

“However, in view of preparations for the State funeral of former president Nelson Mandela, government is unable to release the report this week,” she said.

Cabinet ordered the release of the initially top secret report on Thursday.

The decision was announced after an attack by the African National Congress on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela about the timing of her own report on the over R206 million upgrade at Zuma's private homestead in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

“(We have) endorsed the recommendations and directed that the report be released to the public,” Cabinet said in a statement last week.

Earlier this year, Nxesi classified the report, saying it would put Zuma's safety at risk if released.

A parliamentary committee's findings on the report indicated that it exculpated Zuma, finding no evidence that taxpayers' money had been used to pay for his private home Ä as he has insisted in statements to the National Assembly.

A few weeks ago, the Mail&Guardian reported that Madonsela had found in her preliminary report that Zuma had misled Parliament, and had benefited substantially from about R20 million worth of work that had nothing to do with security features, including a swimming pool.

The story led to the ANC accusing Madonsela of leaking the report and pressing her to release the final version urgently, or be accused of playing politics if it emerged too close to next year's general elections.

Madonsela condemned the leak.

Sapa


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