‘Zuma must listen to religious leaders’

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zuma mar 11

INLSA

President Jacob Zuma. Photo: Itumeleng English

 

Johannesburg - The Congress of the People on Monday called on President Jacob Zuma to listen to religious leaders calling for him to come clean on the Nkandla saga.

“The call for breaking the silence is getting louder for the president to tell the country what was his role in the spending of R246 million... in Nkandla,” head of election Dennis Bloom said.

“Cope wants to believe that the president will listen to the call of the religious leaders and all other bodies that call on him to tell the truth.”

On Saturday Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba led a march outside Parliament calling on Zuma to tell the truth about the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

During the march, Makgoba said Zuma's legacy would be contingent on how he dealt with the issue of upgrades to his home.

“Mr President, how you are remembered in history, your legacy, is going to be determined by how you speak to the nation about how you made the decisions you have made,” Magoba said at the time.

He said Zuma needed to address South Africans on the matter urgently as there were “historic levels of distrust” towards the government.

“We need to hear the voice of responsibility speak.”

On March 19, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her report on costly security upgrades at Zuma's private Nkandla home, saying Zuma should have asked questions about the scale, costs, and affordability of security upgrades which could end up being as much as R240 million.

On April 2, Zuma submitted a response to Parliament about the Nkandla issue in which he undertook to give a “further report” on “decisive executive interventions” after he would receive a report from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) that he had directed to probe security upgrades at Nkandla.

At the time, the presidency issued a statement saying: “the president remains concerned about the allegations of maladministration and impropriety around procurement in the Nkandla project, in particular the allegations of cost inflation”.

It was then announced that a multi-party ad-hoc committee would be established to consider President Jacob Zuma's response to the Public Protector's report on Nkandla.

Bloom said if Zuma had nothing to hide, he would come clean and not hide behind the SIU's ongoing probe.

“The excuse of waiting for the investigation on the report by the SIU is a delaying tactic by the president to buy time up until after the elections,” he said.

Bloom also explained the party's reason for refusing to be part of the multi-party ad-hoc committee. He said Cope did not want to become a rubber stamp in the Nkandla scandal and had no hope of anything positive materialising.

“We know nothing will come from that committee,” he said. - Sapa


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