‘Zuma must do honourable thing’Comment on this story
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma must do the honourable thing and repay the money used for upgrades to his Nkandla home, the NFP Youth Movement said on Monday.
“Under the circumstances, the honourable thing that our president can do is to pay back the money that was used for the swimming pool and theatre, unless he is convinced that having such a luxury could add value to his safety and that of his family,” secretary general Busi Tshabalala said in a statement.
“If the president firmly believes that having a theatre could prevent criminals from threatening his life, than he must not pay.”
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had recommended in her report, “Secure in Comfort”, that Zuma repay part of the R246 million spent on security upgrades to his Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal homestead.
She indicated he needed to repay all non-security related expenses, such as for the swimming pool, cattle kraal, amphitheatre, and visitors' centre.
Madonsela reportedly wrote to Zuma in a recent letter that he was second-guessing her recommendations.
In his 20-page reply to her report, Zuma indicated Police Minister Nathi Nhleko needed to determine if he should repay any of the money spent on security upgrades at the homestead.
Despite the National Freedom Party Youth Movement's support of the call for Zuma to repay some of the money, it expressed concern at the Economic Freedom Fighters' behaviour in Parliament last week.
On Thursday, EFF MPs disrupted proceedings in the National Assembly while Zuma was answering questions. EFF leader Julius Malema objected to Zuma's reply to a question about when he was going to repay part of the Nkandla money. EFF MPs became disruptive and began chanting “pay back the money”.
National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete ordered the EFF MPs out and later adjourned proceedings.
Tshabalala on Monday said Zuma was the face of the country and an elder, so he deserved to be treated with respect.
“We cannot have a situation where he is mocked by people who are ill-disciplined by nature. As young people of this country we are ashamed to share the same age group as those barbaric individuals,” he said.
The Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) said Zuma's failure to adequately reply to Madonsela's report showed contempt for Parliament.
“The president’s failure to account properly, and fully, to Parliament, specifically in relation to the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla, has shown a contempt for Parliament and, therefore, for the Constitution,” it said in a statement on Sunday.
“The president should be allowed to complete his answers to the questions that had been tabled for answer on 21 August, and to respond to any supplementary questions in the National Assembly. This should be arranged as soon as practicable.”
Casac said it met at the weekend to discuss Zuma's response to the reports.