Madonsela must go, says ANCYL
Johannesburg - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela must step down, the ANC Youth League said on Thursday.
“Madonsela must finish up with this Nkandla mess then go,” said ANCYL national convenor Mzwandile Masina.
He was speaking at a media briefing at the African National Congress's Luthuli House headquarters shortly after the ANC held a separate media briefing on Madonsela's report on President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla homestead.
Standing at the same podium where ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe had earlier said the party had no intention of ignoring or undermining Madonsela's report, Masina said the ANCYL noted the report with “sheer disgust”.
He accused Madonsela of being biased and sensationalist, saying her office was trying hard to “poison the public against the ANC”.
Madonsela released her report on costly security upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday, saying Zuma should have asked questions about the scale, costs, and affordability of security upgrades which could end up being as much as R240 million.
She found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from upgrades.
Masina however, said Madonsela had no authority to speak on such matters.
“She isn't competent to speak on issues of security,” said Masina, adding that Madonsela thought she was above the law.
ANCYL national co-ordinator Magasela Mzobe said Zuma had no time to question issues about swimming pools and other things that were built on his property “without his authority”.
“Zuma didn't ask for a swimming pool,” said Mzobe.
“He is busy running the country. People who authorised for that should pay,” said Mzobe.
Madonsela had recommended that Zuma pay back a percentage of the cost of upgrades to his home.
Addressing the media earlier, Mantashe said the ANC needed to decide if it would encourage Zuma to follow Madonsela's recommendation to pay back some of the money.
“The public protector said the president must pay a reasonable percentage... and the question is whether we will encourage him to do so,” said Mantashe.
He said the biggest problem with the cost of the upgrades at Nkandla was “inflation of prices”.
“This project is a sample to say we should look at whether prices aren't inflated in other areas.”
All officials involved had to be brought to book and all funds acquired inappropriately had to be paid back, said Mantashe.
While Madonsela emphasised that the probe into upgrades had no political motive, the ANCYL accused her of having close relations with the Democratic Alliance and pushing an agenda.
“Madonsela has attended tea parties with the DA... She has even attended some of their rallies,” claimed Mzobe.
The league intended to write a letter to Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa to request that he investigate the leaks of some documents from Madonsela's office.
Asked whether the league had ever engaged with Madonsela or intended to, Masina responded that they had never done so and would not.
“She is arrogant... She does not deserve our attention. We don't have time to engage with her,” said Masina.
Several political parties said they would lay criminal charges against Zuma following Madonsela's report.
The ANCYL said those parties had no case.
The league had not consulted the mother body regarding its statement and nor had it seen the ANC's statement on its stance on Madonsela's report.