Top ANC man criticises Nkandla report
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Durban - A decision by Gauteng ANC chairman Paul Mashatile to break ranks with the party by criticising Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report on Nkandla would help the party in Gauteng, said independent political analyst Daniel Silke.
Mashatile took the surprising stance on Thursday when he openly criticised Nhleko’s report, which exonerated President Jacob Zuma from paying back money that was used for non-security measures at his Nkandla home. Nhleko went further, saying more work was needed to secure Zuma’s homestead.
Mashatile was speaking at the Daily Maverick Gathering in Midrand on Thursday. DA leader Mmusi Maimane and former Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi were also part of the discussion panel.
“When the minister gave his report, he said something to the effect that more is going to be spent. Now I just want to say that is not the ANC position,” Mashatile said.
Hesaid he was expressing his personal view and it would still need to be debated in the party structures.
Silke, who is director of the Cape Town-based Political Futures Consultancy, said it was the first time he had heard an ANC leader speak out against Nhleko’s report.
However, Silke said it was not strange for Mashatile to stand against Zuma, since the ANC in Gauteng had voted against Zuma at the Mangaung conference in December 2012.
“Mashatile is simply continuing to keep some sort of blue water between the Gauteng ANC and the office of the president. It is a reflection of the continuing suspicion that Gauteng has for Zuma.”
He said Mashatile’s position might regain some of the support which the ANC had lost in the province, since its members were unhappy with the Nkandla development.
“Most definitely he might find himself in the cold within the ranks of the party, although there might be some party leaders who have the same views but are afraid to express them,” he said.
Maimane said while Zuma was living, “secure in comfort”, in a R246 million palace, South Africans were facing power cuts, e-tolls and ever-decreasing opportunities.
“It is time to step aside. We simply cannot afford another decade of aimless, leaderless drift. We are now in a race against time,” he said.
Vavi was reported as saying that ministers and NEC members should hang their heads in shame for not standing up and saying something about the expenditure.
According to EWN, EFF leader Julius Malema said Mashatile would try to take back his comments.
Malema said Mashatile was not a new breed of ANC leader who opposes corruption.
“Paul belongs to that elite group that continues to milk our resources,” Malema was quoted as saying.
Durban political analyst Protas Madlala said former ANC MP Professor Ben Turok was the first to openly criticise Nkandla.
“They are now coming out to criticise it because they see that it is embarrassing the ANC. No one (in the ANC) says the president should not be protected, but when a chicken coop and swimming pool is a security measure, it is an embarrassment,” Madlala said.