Boost for Nkandla probe

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Michael Mpofu

CONSTITUTIONAL law expert Professor Pierre de Vos’s application for an investigation of alleged breaches by President Jacob Zuma of the executive members’ ethics code regarding building work at his Nkandla residence has been included in the Public Protector’s main probe.

De Vos said he had been informed yesterday that his application would be treated “as part of the broader Nkandla investigation”.

He applied for the probe last year, asking Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to investigate whether Zuma misled Parliament, and thus breached the executive members’ ethics code, when he said in the National Assembly that he had taken a bond to pay for expansions at his Nkandla home.

The public protector, auditor-general and Public Works Department are also probing various aspects of the reported R250 million spending on security upgrades at Nkandla, including an underground bunker, a helipad and custom-made bullet-proof windows, paid for by the state.

Asked whether he had received any information regarding the status of his application for the investigation, De Vos told The Star in an SMS: “Not a word, despite two follow-up e-mails.”

However, he later received an e-mail informing him of the merging of the investigations.

Public Protector spokesman Oupa Segalwe said the investigation was still under way and “there is no report at this point in time”.

He said the Public Protector’s office was unable to “put our heads on the block and give a specific time” when the probe would be completed.

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