Ngwako Modjadji
2 minute read
9 Apr 2014
6:00 am

Security cluster seek Nkandla scapegoat – Mazibuko

Ngwako Modjadji

The DA has dismissed a security cluster letter to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela as a "scapegoat" and nothing more than a last-ditch attempt to protect President Jacob Zuma from being held accountable.

FILE PICTURE: DA Parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko. Picture: Johann Hattingh/Citizen

“It is clear they do not respect the findings of the office of the Public Protector and are still scrambling to find a scapegoat for this gross abuse of public funds,” DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said.

“The security cluster must back off and let Parliament do its work.”

The security cluster’s letter to the Madonsela requests further clarity from her, following her damning report released last month into the mutli-million rand security upgrades at Zuma’s private residence Nkandla, in KwaZulu-Natal.

In the letter, security cluster ministers said they had studied the report and – based on this – there were several areas on which they required further information and clarification.

“We, as part of government, have a responsibility to study this report and if necessary seek clarity on aspects of the report that require clarification in the spirit of intergovernmental relations and co-operation.

“We reiterate our support of the institution of the office of the Public Protector, considering it and other Chapter 9 institutions as vital to the health of a democratic society.

“However, this does not mean that government has no right to seek clarity on areas of the report which would seem to be confusing,” the ministers said.

The next step was for the office of the Public Protector to respond, after which “we will be able to make a more informed decision on the way forward”.

Mazibuko said the security cluster had had ample opportunity to make their submissions to the Public Protector in response to her report.

“In fact, they have abused this process by deliberately delaying the release of this report using a bogus court interdict that had no legal basis,” she said.

“To demand yet another opportunity for clarification in this regard is a desperate attempt to distract from the now imminent parliamentary process.”

Mazibuko also said security cluster minister were sailing dangerously close to violating the Constitution – and the DA will not tolerate this.

“Madonsela’s spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi confirmed the office of the Public Protector had received the security cluster’s letter.

“She is out of the country and has personally not seen the letter,” Masibi said.

“She will decide what to do with the letter when she sees it.”

However, it is not clear if the Nkandla report will be discussed in Parliament before the May 7 elections.

Any outstanding parliamentary matters will lapse with the current Parliament on midnight, May 6, if they are not concluded then. – ngwakom@citizen.co.za