Jacob Zuma misses own Nkandla deadline

2014-07-17 12:28

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President Jacob Zuma has promised to submit to Parliament, as soon as possible, his response to the damning findings by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela into refurbishments at his Nkandla homestead.

Zuma reportedly gave an undertaking to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to give a “comprehensive and final report” on the Nkandla matter within 30 working days from June 4. That deadline has now expired.

In March, Madonsela released her findings into the R246 million upgrades at Zuma’s rural homestead. According to the 450-page document, entitled “Secure in Comfort”, Madonsela found that Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the upgrades.

Madonsela recommended that Zuma pay back a portion of the money spent on non-security upgrades done at his home, which include a visitors’ centre, amphitheatre, swimming pool, cattle kraal, culvert, chicken run and extensive paving. A rough estimation done by the Mail & Guardian put the value of the non-security upgrades at R20 million.

The Public Protector gave the president 14 days to submit a response to Parliament on what action he would take on Nkandla.

Zuma, who has denied unduly benefiting from Nkandla, submitted a brief response to Parliament in April in which he pointed out that the Special Investigating Unit was conducting its own investigations into the Nkandla upgrades.

His office said today that Zuma was still “seized with preparing” the report on the upgrades at his Nkandla home.

“The president will submit his report as soon as possible after receiving all the necessary information required for the preparation of the report,” said Zuma’s spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, in a statement.

It is not clear how far the SIU is with its investigation into Nkandla. It has, however, indicated that it would also not meet its own deadline.

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