Public Protector did it: ANC on Nkandla leak

2013-12-03 15:44

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The ANC has accused Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s office of leaking their provisional report on the Nkandla upgrades to the media.

ANC deputy secretary-general Jessie Duarte told journalists at Luthuli House in Johannesburg this afternoon that Madonsela yesterday announced that she would put in place tighter measures to prevent leaks of provisional reports from her office.

Madonsela also said she would, in future, only give the report to affected parties.

This comes after the Mail & Guardian on Friday published Madonsela’s leaked report on the security upgrades around President Jacob Zuma’s private home in Nkandla.

According to the provisional report, Zuma was personally liable for about R20 million of the costs.

Read: 5 things worth knowing about Madonsela’s report

“It is not in the interest of any of the affected parties to leak the report,” Duarte said. She added that leaks from Madonsela’s office always followed the same pattern of Madonsela making comments about an investigation, and the report then being leaked.

“If the affected parties wanted to leak the report, they would have done so when they asked for three days’ extension (to comment) and the Public Protector refused them,” she said.

“When something like that is leaked (and you didn’t want it to be leaked), you go ballistic, you don’t make polite statements. The Public Protector seems comfortable with the leak,” she said.

Duarte said a further question should be asked as to who else Madonsela had given the report to.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said the ANC was disappointed in the Public Protector, and indirectly accused her of electioneering.

He called on her to release the report as soon as possible, and not to leak snippets. “If the Public Protector keeps the report back until the eve of the elections, we will know that she is playing a political game,” he said.

He also asked the inter-ministerial task team to release the results of their top secret investigation into Nkandla so that the public could compare the findings.

Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence wrote a report on the investigation and it justified the R200 million-plus security upgrades to Nkandla.

Mantashe said questions should be asked as to whether Zuma had requested the security upgrades to Nkandla, whether Zuma spent public money on his homestead, whether Zuma ordered a swimming pool and kraal to be built, and his wife’s tuck shop to be moved, whether he requested the bulletproof windows, who decided to build parts of the security upgrade on state land and how the costs compared with the upgrade of the homes of previous presidents.

This afternoon’s press conference follows a three-day meeting of the ANC’s officials, including Zuma, to prepare for this weekend’s meeting of the party’s national executive committee and the elections list conference.

Mantashe said the officials didn’t put any questions to Zuma because he didn’t do the investigations.

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