ANC rallies around Zuma after Nkandla report

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Michel Bega

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe. Picture: Michel Bega

The ANC has rallied around its leader President Jacob Zuma, saying the Nkandla debacle was not a priority for its supporters.

Responding to media queries at a briefing in Johannesburg yesterday, party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said ANC supporters were more concerned about moving out of shacks into proper houses with electricity and water.

Asked if the national executive committee meeting of the ANC had received an explanation from Zuma about the R250 million of public money spent on security upgrades at Nkandla, Mantashe said: “We are giving space for the president to respond and let’s wait for the president to take a

He said Zuma would respond to the report in Parliament tomorrow, as directed by the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

The ANC held its scheduled national executive committee (NEC) meeting in Cape Town at the weekend. Mantashe said the NEC did not make any recommendations regarding the security upgrades. He said the Special Investigating Unit, directed by Zuma to investigate the upgrades, also needed to be given time.

“The Public Protector made the recommendations for the president to report to Parliament. But the NEC did not do that because we are not accountable.”

Madonsela’s report indicated that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the upgrades. He has since denied guilt or that he owes any money.
The upgrades at Zuma’s private residence included a swimming pool, an amphithteatre and a chicken run.

Following the release of the report, Madonsela was subjected to criticism as some structures of the ANC, including the youth league, cast aspersions on her credibility.

Mantashe said the organisation had re-committed itself to high levels of public accountability and the protection of independent institutions created by South Africa’s democratic order.

He said all ANC cadres who were publicly making disparaging pronouncements on the matter needed to be hauled before the organisation’s disciplinary processes to account for their actions.

Mantashe said the NEC had committed to continue talking to the masses on any matter that affected them. “What we have observed in the public discourse are high levels of discussion on corruption.

“This is a clear reflection that we have pitched our standards on a high note as a country and that we should correctly continue to do so. We also need to move from talking to acting by working together in fighting corruption.”


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