28/09/2012. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela talks about her findings regarding the investigation into Deputy President's Kgalema Montlante patner Gugu Mtshali. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

GAYE DAVIS

Political Bureau

PRESSURE is mounting on the government to lift the veil of secrecy it has thrown over the millions of rand being spent on President Jacob Zuma’s rural homestead at Nkandla, with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela set to investigate, while Parliament is to be asked to hold a special debate on the issue.

Civil society body Corruption Watch has also sent questions that it wants answered to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi.

Madonsela said yesterday she would be approaching the Auditor-General, Terence Nombembe, for information on his audit of the R238 million that has been spent so far. She and her staff would be meeting today to determine her office’s capacity for the probe, she told Independent Newspapers.

Madonsela first received a request to probe the massive upgrade in December. The complainant, whom she did not name, wanted her to establish whether the expenditure was lawful and authorised, whether proper tender processes had been followed and if the spending was justified.

She said the Presidency’s director-general Cassius Lubisi told her in February that the Presidency was “not responsible for the decisions” as the Zuma family itself was developing the homestead and security arrangements were being handled by the defence ministry.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko laid another complaint at Madonsela’s door last week.

Yesterday she welcomed Madonsela’s willingness to investigate and announced a number of other steps her party would take to try and get answers about the spending.

Madonsela’s was “the first of many investigations that will need to be initiated to ensure that the President is held fully accountable for his exorbitant and unnecessary cash splurge of taxpayer’s money”.