Nkandla: Cosatu calls for accountability

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IOL si Nkandla 1 INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS President Jacob Zuma's private homestead in Nkandla. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Johannesburg - Cosatu has called for action against anyone guilty of wasting or mismanaging public funds in the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

“All those who have been found to be behind this gross misuse of public funds must be held accountable, including any political office bearers who approved the use of these massive amounts of public money, or failed to monitor and stop the runaway expenditure,” Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven said on Thursday.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her report on the upgrades at Zuma's private Nkandla homestead, in KwaZulu-Natal, last week. She found Zuma had materially and improperly benefited from the upgrades, and in doing so violated the executives' ethics code.

By the time Madonsela had concluded her investigation, R215

million had been spent. The total cost to complete the project was conservatively put at R246m.

“We urge government to implement all her findings,” Craven said.

The union federation did not question the need for the state to take adequate measures to secure the president and other public office bearers.

“Cosatu repeats its call for the publication of all the names of all the service providers, including the names of all their directors and shareholders.

“In particular we want to investigate whether there was any corrupt collusion with public officials, or officials using their own companies, in the inflation of prices for the work done,” he said.

Cosatu called for government officials involved with supply chain management to be subjected to lifestyle audits. Craven said the supply chain management policy and prescripts were not fully complied with in the procurement of goods and services in the project.

Craven called for Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi's decision to refer the allegations of irregularities to the Special Investigating Unit, Auditor General, and the police, to be implemented quickly.

Cosatu welcomed the African National Congress's commitment that it would not ignore or undermine the report.

“Cosatu, however, totally rejects the call by the Democratic Alliance and other opposition parties for the impeachment of President Zuma and their plans to lay charges in court.

“These parties are blatantly using the issue to revive their flagging election campaigns and finding ways to keep themselves in the media headlines,” Craven said. - Sapa

Access the Public Protector’s Nkandla report here

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