Nkandla committee meets again

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Independent Newspapers

The cost to the public of the Nkandla debacle is set to climb well over the R246 million bill for the project itself. File picture: Doctor Ngcobo

Cape Town -

The Public Protector and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) should be called before Parliament to give evidence on their investigations into upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residence, DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko proposed on Monday.

The proposal was made at the second meeting of the 12-member committee set to consider President Jacob Zuma's reply to the Public Protector's report on Nkandla.

Mazibuko proposed that the Public Protector, the author or authors of the security cluster report on Nkandla, the ministers of police, and defence, or the national commissioner for the SA Police Service or chief of the SA National Defence Force be called to give evidence.

“We are confident that you, like us, are keen to do justice to the mandate conferred on us by the Speaker, and that you will accede to this request.”

ANC MPs objected to the proposal.

“These bodies are independent. It would be not correct for this committee to start dictating terms for what these bodies should do, especially the SIU...” ANC MP Jonas Sibanyoni said.

Opposition parties largely supported the DA's proposal, but had questions on whether the committee could complete its work on time.

“For this committee to do its work, we need to have these people before the committee,” Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh said.

“The uncomfortable question is can it be practically done in the time that is available? To call the Public Protector is not a matter of making a telephone call to say we 'want you here tomorrow'.”

ANC MP Lluwellyn Landers concurred.

“The problem we are faced with...is that next Wednesday we are faced with an election. You can wish it away, you an pooh pooh it, but there it is and you are saying to us 'yes we can finish that work before that day'. I say to you, you can't,” Landers said.

The Freedom Front Plus supported Mazibuko's call, but with an added suggestion.

FF Plus MP Corne Mulder said: “I would support the calling of the evidence so we can clarify certain anomalies...without reopening discussions on what was found.”

The anomalies he referred to were the findings of the security cluster ministers, who cleared President Jacob Zuma of any wrongdoing, and the report of the Public Protector which found Zuma had unduly benefited from the security upgrades to his private homestead. - Sapa


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