Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has “no opinion to express” on President Jacob Zuma’s letters of reprimand to two ministers and a former minister who were implicated in a report into upgrades to his Nkandla homestead.
According to her spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, she said this was a matter for parliament to deal with. The letters were tabled in parliament last week.
This was in accordance with the Constitutional Court ruling that Zuma violated his oath of office by not complying with Madonsela’s remedial action.
According to Zuma’s letters: “The Constitutional Court has affirmed the direction by the public protector, among others, that I am required to reprimand the ministers involved in the Nkandla project, for what the public protector termed ‘the appalling manner in which the Nkandla project was handled and state funds were abused’ …”
The recipients of the letters were Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi and former public works minister Geoff Doidge.
Speaking to The Citizen yesterday, Segalwe said: “The public protector has noted the reprimand letters from the president to the ministers.
“But regarding the adequacy thereof, the public protector has no view except to say that this is a matter for parliament to deal with.”
Meanwhile, the letters did not go down well with the DA. The party’s leader, Mmusi Maimane, even went as far as calling them a “joke”.
In a scathing statement, he said the letters were an “insult to the public”.
“The reprimand should have been specific in nature as to what each minister did wrong: allowing the abuse of public funds in their departments, not exercising sufficient control and oversight over the project, allowing for the outrageous cost overruns, publicly trying to cover up facts and avoiding accountability, making statements that were later proved to be totally untrue and more,” said Maimane.
The DA has since sent the letters to their legal team to deduce whether they constitute an adequate reprimand. Should the letters fail, the party would to seek to compel Zuma into reprimanding the ministers “fully and thoroughly”.