South Africa 26.9.2013 06:00 am

Third party key to Nkandlagate

FILE PICTURE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Christine Vermooten.

FILE PICTURE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Christine Vermooten.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she is waiting on information from a third party to continue the investigation into President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal. Madonsela said a draft investigation report has been completed.

Zuma’s Nkandla home came under scrutiny after the president allegedly spent R206 million to upgrade the complex. Zuma’s private home reportedly features underground bunkers, a clinic, a fire station, special quarters for police and a helipad.

Documents containing details of the renovations were classified after some specifics came to light. Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said the documents needed to be classified for security reasons.

Madonsela addressed media in Pretoria yesterday and said she made a request for additional information regarding the president’s home. She did not want to disclose who needs to submit this information.

“I made the request on August 11. We have assisted the party in question,” she said, adding that she does not believe any malice was involved in the delay in providing the information.

“Their deadline is September 30. We will only then assess the information,” she said. Nxesi said his department would co-operate with the Public Protector but dismissed any claims of interference.

“My officials and other ministers have met the Public Protector to discuss issues pertaining to her investigation,” said Nxesi in a statement earlier this month.

“These meetings had nothing to do with these sensational claims of trying to stop the investigation.”

According to the DA’s national spokesman, Mmusi Maimane, the delay is frustrating and he accused Nxesi of deliberately delaying the investigation.

“We feel that Parliament and the Public Protector should look into the matter. South Africans must ask themselves whether it is worth spending a quarter of a billion rand to upgrade a politician’s house,” he said.

 

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