New snag in Nkandla report release

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Nkandla1234 Independent Newspapers President Jacob Zuma's home in Nkandla. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo.

Johannesburg - The Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) investigation into the R246 million security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence has been hit by more delays and could take several months before it is complete.

One of the reasons for the delays was that the SIU was granted access to the Nkandla residence for the first time only last Thursday.

On Thursday, SIU head advocate Vasantrai Soni told the justice and correctional services portfolio committee the final report would be delayed indefinitely due to factors beyond their control.

This comes after the DA wrote a letter to Soni requesting more details on the delays.

On Thursday, DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach asked Soni what the reasons were for the delays and why certain people were not co-operating with the SIU.

“It gives me no joy to say to the public at large that the report has been delayed yet again. It’s a reflection on me and the unit. But at the same time we’re dealing with a legal process. That process says you investigate and in the course of your investigations you must deal with all the major issues that arise,” said Soni.

In a letter to Speaker Baleka Mbete last month, President Jacob Zuma said that he had received the provisional report of the SIU and would give a comprehensive response on the Nkandla spending within 30 working days.

Soni compared the delays to the ones experienced by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who had to wait for up to nine months for a response from Zuma.

“The public protector waited for months and months. We could take that course as well,” said Soni.

He said in the course of the investigation there were documents where a number of parties who didn’t take decisions or take part in the decision process were named.

“We have sent to them questions relating to what was said about them. When the SIU sends report to the president, we cannot exclude those names.”

He said the SIU was supposed to be given access to the premises to be able to assess the work that had been done.

“As far as access goes due to factors that I don’t control or nobody controls, we were given access for the first time last Thursday. Now we had experts who looked at what was there and are finalising,” said Soni.

DA federal chairman James Selfe said this week that with the taxpayer footing the R246 million bill for the upgrades, “it is important that South Africans and their representatives in Parliament are given access to the full report so that they can interrogate its findings and its accuracy”.

The Star



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