No word on Nkandla committee

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IOL mar 2  Parliament Independent Newspapers File photo: Matthew Jordaan

Parliament - Whether Parliament will set up an ad hoc committee to consider Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on Nkandla could not be officially confirmed on Wednesday.

“Parliament will make an announcement in this regard when there are developments further to our last communication,” Parliament spokesman Luzuko Jacobs said in an e-mail sent to Sapa.

He was responding to a question on whether reports that National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu had decided to set up such a committee were correct, and if so, when.

The “last communication” referred to is understood to be Sisulu's April 2 announcement that Zuma's response to Madonsela's report would be published in the parliamentary Announcements, Tablings, and Committee Reports document.

On Tuesday, Beeld newspaper quoted Democratic Alliance chief whip Watty Watson and Freedom Front Plus chief whip Corne Mulder, who both confirmed that Sisulu would appoint an ad hoc committee.

“The Speaker phoned me and told me he planned to set up an ad hoc committee and that he wanted to consult,” said Mulder.

“The Speaker said the ad hoc committee would have to work morning, noon and night up to the elections on May 7 to get the work done in time.

“He 1/8Sisulu 3/8 said he wanted to complete it before May 6. That means the committee should present a report before then and then the National Assembly should be called upon to consider the report.”

According to parliamentary rules the Speaker needed to consult with political parties before setting up such a committee.

In her report, titled “Secure in Comfort”, Madonsela found that President Jacob Zuma and his family improperly benefited from the R246 million security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

These included a swimming pool, a cattle kraal, and an amphitheatre.

Madonsela also found that Zuma breached the Executive Members' Ethics Act.

She recommended that a percentage of the money be repaid.

Zuma, in his response to the report, said last week he would await a Special Investigating Unit report on the matter before giving full and proper consideration to the matter.

Sisulu's office reportedly told Beeld that a statement would be released once a decision on the committee had been taken.

Sapa



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