Nkandla: Stone Sizani ‘satisfied’ Jacob Zuma responded to all reports

2014-08-18 15:02

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ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani said he was satisfied that President Jacob Zuma had responded to all reports on security upgrades to his Nkandla home, including the public protector’s.

The response was handed to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete by Zuma last week.

“In responding to Parliament on this matter it was important and appropriate that the president takes into account not only one but all the applicable reports produced thus far ... to assist Parliament to sufficiently process the matter,” Sizani said today.

He added that it would have been “amiss” for the president to confine himself to a single report at the expense of the rest.

On Friday, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s office said Zuma had not yet responded to her report on the R246 million security upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

“In fact, in the document it says this is not a comment on the public protector’s report,” spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said at the time.

“That means a document that comments on the public protector’s report or indicates action taken or to be taken to implement remedial action in compliance with section 3(5) of the Executive Members Ethics Act must still be submitted to Parliament by the president.”

On Saturday, the presidency said Zuma was taking all reports into account.

Spokesperson Mac Maharaj said the president’s response to the National Assembly took the joint standing committee on intelligence report, the public protector’s report titled Secure in Comfort and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report into account.

Sizani said the parliamentary process that dealt with the relevant reports should be allowed to take its course.

“We are confident that, in processing the matter, the opinions of various role players, including those of the public protector, would be formally sought by Parliament. This process should therefore be respected,” he said.

Earlier this year, Madonsela found Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the upgrades and recommended that he repay some of the money.

Zuma declined to respond to Madonsela’s report in full within the required fortnight and said instead he would wait for the SIU’s findings.

Public spending on security upgrades at his Nkandla homestead have turned into one of the major controversies of the Zuma presidency, as costs escalated to R246 million. It emerged the project included a pool (dubbed a fire pool by the government), an amphitheatre and a chicken run.

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