Ministers talk peace after Thuli Madonsela ruckus

2013-11-21 16:57

Ministers in the security cluster seem to have buried the hatchet with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela after they hauled her to court for refusing to extend the time they had to read her provisional findings into the spending on the president’s Nkandla home. The ministers had earlier indicated that if they were not happy with Madonsela’s revised provisional report, they reserved the right to return to court to challenge the report. But today, they changed their tune.

At a media briefing in Pretoria, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said they would not be returning to court to force Madonsela to give them a copy of the revised provisional report on her probe into the spending of R206 million on the upgrades.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi also revealed that the R206 million had in fact increased to R208 million because of “final touch ups”.

The ministers had handed a 28-page submission to Madonsela on Friday, which details security concerns in the report.

Mapisa-Nqakula said: “I don’t think that is the intention of the cluster to go back to court to get a copy of revised report.”

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa also said it was not ideal for the executive to take other organs of state to court and insisted that their cooperation with Madonsela should, in future, be based on “mutual respect”.

“We have no appetite of going in and out of court with organs of state or Chapter 9 institutions. We must respect each other’s mandates,” said Mthethwa.

On numerous occasions today, the minister reiterated that it was a “lie” that state money had been used to build Zuma’s houses.

“Our findings were that there was no state money that was used to build the president’s houses in Nkandla. The president’s houses are on three hectares of land and the other houses are on five hectares of land belonging to the state where the support staff, including health and transport are situated,” said Cwele.

The ministers said the findings of the public works task team were that most of the money was spent on security on government land adjacent to Zuma’s house.

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