Nkandla report: Thuli Madonsela files opposing papers

2013-11-13 11:18

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has filed papers opposing an urgent application to prevent her from releasing the provisional report on President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

Her office said today the papers were filed yesterday afternoon at the North Gauteng High Court.

“[This was in] ... response to an application filed last Friday by organs of state within the security cluster.”

The security cluster of ministries sought to interdict Madonsela from releasing her provisional report to affected, implicated and interested parties for comment.

Madonsela’s provisional report was given to the cluster on November 1.

This followed a special request that the cluster access the report ahead of other parties to establish whether its contents would compromise Zuma’s security. The return date for comment was November 6.

The cluster filed an urgent application on Friday to prevent Madonsela from releasing the report. The North Gauteng High Court postponed the matter to the end of this week.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said in a founding affidavit Zuma’s safety would be compromised if Madonsela released the provisional report without state comment.

He said that the cluster, through Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, sent a request to Madonsela last Monday for an extension of the deadline to submit their comment.

“The reason for the request is that the provisional report is voluminous ... 357 pages,” he said.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe echoed Mthethwa’s comments at a briefing on Saturday.

Radebe said Madonsela was unreasonable in setting a November 6 deadline for the ministers to comment, as the 357-page report was only submitted to them on November 1, leaving ministers too little time to provide input.

“The Public Protector has, in our view, unreasonably denied us the opportunity to properly engage the report...” he said.

Madonsela’s office said on Monday that she was unwilling to leave her report in the hands of government security departments for too long.

For this reason, she declined their request to study the document for more than five days, it said.

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