Cape Town - President Jacob Zuma has attempted to avoid accountability in his response over the R246 million security upgrades at his Nkandla private home, the DA said on Thursday.
“Not only does his response undermine the Public Protector’s findings, but it is also an attempt by the President to act as both judge and jury on this matter,” DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.
Zuma submitted his response to Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, on Thursday.
In the response, Zuma requested ministers in the security cluster and the public works minister, Thulas Nxesi, to report to Parliament on their “clearly defined roles and responsibilities” when dealing with the president, the deputy president and their predecessors' security when implementing Cabinet policy.
Nxesi should urgently report to Cabinet on the review of protocols and procedures regarding procurement, expenditure and oversight applicable, he said.
Lastly, Zuma said Cabinet should review the 2003 policy on the security of the president, deputy president and their predecessors with a view to setting parameters for implementation.
Mmusi said by requiring the Minister of Police, Nkosinathi Nhleko, who reports to President Zuma himself, to make a determination of the amount owed, despite the Public Protector already finding that President owes “a reasonable percentage of the cost” is blatantly scandalous.
Maimane said it was also unclear whether Zuma has “reprimanded the ministers involved for the appalling manner in which state funds were abused” as recommended by Madonsela.
The Democratic Alliance would not allow Zuma to go “scot-free,” Maimane said.
Mbete should urgently announce the formation of an ad hoc committee to consider Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report, as well as this unsuitable reply.
“We will demand that the President come and explain himself before the committee, and give evidence.”