File photo: Judgment in the urgent application lodged by the ANC against the DA over a text message about President Jacob Zuma was reserved. Picture: Kim Ludbrook

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma must publicly apologise, and resign, over the “incorrect” use of taxpayers’ money for security upgrades at his rural Nkandla homestead, IFP secretary-general Sibongile Nkomo said on Tuesday.

“A public apology to the people of South Africa has to be done,” she said at a media briefing in Parliament. “(Zuma) has to publicly apologise to South Africans for having used their money… that money was used in a way that was incorrect.”

Nkomo added that internationally the trend was for people, whose public credibility was questioned, to resign: “It is in order for our president to do that, to do the most honourable thing and resign”.

However, he downplayed calls for Zuma’s impeachment, saying ANC numbers in the National Assembly would mean such a move was “futile”.

In less than six weeks, voters would have the power to decide how to act on the public protector’s report into Nkandla, Nkomo added.

Her comment follow similar sentiments expressed by Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota last week - indicating opposition unity that Nkandla is indeed an election issue, but divergence on how to deal with the matter in the interest of enforcing clean governance.

The DA is determinedly pushing for Zuma’s impeachment by the National Assembly - Speaker Max Sisulu on Tuesday wrote to DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko, saying he would revert to her “at the earliest opportunity”.

The Freedom Front Plus has called for an urgent parliamentary debate in the national interest.

The public protector’s 447-page “Secure in Comfort” report into the taxpayer-funded security upgrades, which could rise to an estimated R246m on completion, found Zuma and his family benefited from the upgrades, which ballooned when the government failed to adhere to its own policies and prescripts.

Pretoria News