‘Zuma can’t be trusted with Chapter Nine institutions’

2014-10-22 19:02

It is time Chapter Nine institutions are funded independently of government departments, says the Democratic Alliance.

“The executive should not be in charge of funding the public protector, or any other institutions charged with holding the executive to account,” said DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach today.

“President Jacob Zuma and his cronies simply cannot be trusted with this task.”

The party was reacting to Madonsela’s call that her office be provided with funding proportional to its workload.

Madonsela presented her office’s 2013/14 annual report to Parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services today.

Breytenbach accused the African National Congress of fearing a fully-funded Public Protector.

She said the DA would move for Parliament to establish a standing committee on institutions supporting constitutional democracy so that they could be directly funded by Parliament.

The Economic Freedom Fighters accused the ANC of attacking Madonsela during her presentation.

“The aim is to delegitimise her work as a way of protecting Jacob Zuma from paying back the money,” said spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

“ANC MPs who are members of the Parliament portfolio committee on justice and correctional services came out guns blazing ... These Zuma militias blame the public protector for the situation of insolvency that her office is in, when in fact both Parliament and Treasury are refusing to allocate adequate funds for her.”

In March, Madonsela found that Zuma had derived undue benefit from the upgrades and recommended that he pay back a portion of the money.

Zuma declined to do so, and instead waited for the outcome of another investigation by the Special Investigating Unit.

The SIU blamed Zuma’s architect Minenhle Makhanya for inflating the costs of the Nkandla project, and filed a civil claim against him for R155m in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 11.

Ndlozi said Madonsela should be enjoying the protection of Parliament on the work she had been doing without being attacked.

“It is an open secret that Thuli Madonsela is doing her job with very limited resources and under hostile political conditions.”

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