Nkandla: Mmusi Maimane deploys big guns

2014-08-20 20:44

DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane said he would personally serve on the ad hoc committee to be established to look into President Jacob Zuma’s response to the Nkandla controversy.

The second DA member on the committee would be the chairperson of the party’s federal executive, James Selfe, said Maimane today.

He suggested that the nominations were an indication of how crucial the party viewed the committee’s task to be.

“Parliament must establish all the facts of the allegations that emerge out of reports into the Nkandla scandal and specifically the abuse of R246 million of public funds that went into funding the private residence of one man,” he said.

Former state prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach, now a member of the portfolio committee on justice, would stand in for Maimane or Selfe if either were unable to attend a sitting of the committee.

The National Assembly agreed to an ANC motion yesterday to establish a committee to consider Zuma’s 20-page letter to Parliament in response to findings from the public protector, the Special Investigating Unit and the security cluster task team on costly improvements to his Nkandla home.

The DA was outvoted when it fought to have the mandate of the committee amended to spell out that it should not merely weigh Zuma’s submission but also the reports produced by the different investigations.

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said it was a case of “Luthuli House we don’t trust” and the party therefore feared Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings would be ignored.

His ANC counterpart Stone Sizani argued that it was implicit that all findings would be considered by the committee.

Madonsela found that Zuma had unduly benefited from the revamp of his homestead and said he should repay a portion of the cost.

Zuma in his response, made plain that it should not be read as acceptance of that, and has asked Police Minister Nathi Nhleko to report to Cabinet on whether he was liable for costs.

“The DA maintains that the reply of the president, handed to the Speaker on 14 August 2014, is wholly inadequate and is an attempt to sidestep the true purpose of accounting to Parliament for his actions,” said Maimane.

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