South Africa 5.2.2014 06:00 am

Nkandla tops agenda at Madonsela, ANC meeting

A general view of  President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla home. Picture: AFP PHOTO / Stringer

A general view of President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla home. Picture: AFP PHOTO / Stringer

The R206 million security upgrade to President Jacob Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla, Kwazulu-Natal, dominated the talks between the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and the ANC leadership yesterday.

The meeting, which took place at the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House, was attended by ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and Jessie Duarte, among others.

The Citizen understands that the anticipated Nkandla report was on top of the agenda at the meeting.

Madonsela’s spokesperson, Kgalelo Masibi, said the purpose of the meeting was to raise several issues. “It was just a meeting to raise issues of mutual concern to both parties,” she said.

Asked what was discussed, Masibi said: “I am not at liberty to disclose what was discussed.”

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu described the meeting as “fruitful” and said Mandonsela met the ANC as part of her annual meeting with stakeholders.

“She was briefing us about the work she is doing,”he said.

“We raised our mutual concerns at the meeting – and that is where we want to leave it at.

The meeting follows the war of words between Madonsela and the ANC over the release of the final report into Nkandla.

Last year, Mantashe called on Madonsela to urgently release her final report on the security upgrade at Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, saying the delays could be seen as a political ploy ahead of the general elections this year.

Last year there was a wrangle between Madonsela and the ANC after the provisional report on Nkandla was leaked to the media.

The leaked report allegedly found that the upgrade, which the ministers in the security cluster dubbed “security upgrades”, included a swimming pool, visitors’ centre, amphitheatre, cattle kraal, marquee area and extensive paving.

Madonsela allegedly found that Zuma had received substantial personal benefits from the upgrade to his private residence and that he had lied to Parliament.

Madonsela had announced she would release the final report into Nkandla this weekend.

However, it has emerged that former National Police Commissioner Bheki Cele wants documents and time to respond to allegations that he failed to stop wasteful expenditure during the Nkandla project.

 

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