Parliament to probe Nkandla before elections

2014-04-08 09:38

National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu has decided to investigate the Nkandla report before the May 7 elections.

Sisulu had decided to set up a multiparty parliamentary committee to consider Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report about costly security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, Beeld newspaper reported today.

Beeld quoted DA chief whip Watty Watson and Freedom Front Plus chief whip Corne Mulder, who both confirmed that Sisulu would appoint an ad hoc committee.

“The Speaker phoned me and told me he planned to set up an ad hoc committee and that he wanted to consult,” said Mulder.

“The Speaker said the ad hoc committee would have to work morning, noon and night up to the elections on May 7 to get the work done in time.

“He [Sisulu] said he wanted to complete it before May 6. That means the committee should present a report before then and the National Assembly should be called upon to consider the report.”

According to parliamentary rules, the Speaker needed to consult with political parties before setting up such a committee.

In her report, Secure in Comfort, Madonsela found that Zuma and his family improperly benefited from the R246 million security upgrades which included a swimming pool, a cattle kraal and an amphitheatre.

Madonsela also found that Zuma had breached the Executive Members’ Ethics Act.

She recommended that a percentage of the money be repaid.

Zuma, in his response to the report, said last week he would await a Special Investigating Unit report on the matter before giving full and proper consideration to the matter.

Sisulu’s office told Beeld that a statement would be released once a decision on the committee had been taken.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko welcomed the decision.

“The DA welcomes the Speaker of the National Assembly’s full consideration and action on the DA’s request for the establishment of an ad hoc committee to investigate the Nkandla scandal,” she said in a statement.

“I requested the establishment of such a committee in terms of Section 89 of the Constitution immediately after the release of the Public Protector’s report on 19 March 2014.

“We have, however, received no official correspondence from Mr Sisulu and we will provide full comment only once the establishment of this inquiry is confirmed. This will also clarify the exact mandate of the committee,” Mazibuko said.

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