South Africa 3.8.2015 03:56 pm

Madonsela clarifies ‘confusions’ within her Nkandla report

FILE PICTURE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Michel Bega

FILE PICTURE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Michel Bega

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has moved to clarify some “confusions” within her 2014 report into the widely opposed security upgrades on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

She further spoke out on not being called to assist in the deliberations of Parliament’s Nkandla ad hoc committee which this month visited Zuma’s residence to conduct an in-loco inspection.
Madonsela told media at a press briefing on Monday that attacks on her office had left it weaker, with its mandate to strengthen Constitutional democracy.Her office had never received such “rhetoric attacks” since the Nkandla report called Secure In Comfort was released.”This office’s ability to strengthen Constitutional democracy has been eroded,” she said.In her report, Madonsela found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the upgrades and recommends that he pay some of the money back.

The remedial actions and recommendations in her report was not to target the President, said Madonsela.

She appealed that we stop personalising matters.

She said she “wondered… what President Mandela” would make of this bizarre turn of events, Madonsela told journalists.

Madonsela read from an address she would have made had she been called to the National Assembly.

She added that it saddened her that she had to use the media as a medium to get her message her across.

In what would be her message, Madonsela pointed to upgrades to Zuma’s firepool, which she deemed to be a swimming pool, chicken run and cattle kraal. The issue of the visitors center at Nkandla was not the size or opulence but whether the acquisition of whether it needed to be built as a security measure.

The second issue was if the value of Zuma’s estate increased through the upgrades, she said.

Confusions arose within her report that the Police ministry had to determine if Zuma had to pay any money back.

It rather recommended that this be done through the Treasury and police ministry.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko recently found that Zuma did not have to pay any money towards upgrades.Madonsela also said that it was up to the public to protect her institution.

 

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