ANC accuses Madonsela for Nkandla leak

2013-12-04 00:00

THE ANC yesterday climbed into the ring to defend President Jacob Zuma against an alleged “political onslaught” by the office of the Public Protector (PP).

Party secretary-general Gwede Mantashe and his deputy Jessie Duarte criticised Thuli Madonsela, describing her actions as “dangerous” after her preliminary Nkandla report was leaked.

Mantashe said the ANC was not angry at Madonsela, but was unhappy about the patterns of leaking reports from her office.

“We appreciate what she is doing. She is in fact doing a good job. What worries us is the behaviour … The Public Protector must not release snippets but a final report.

“Our plea is that the final report must be released.”

This after a cluster of security ministers last month went to court to prevent the release of the report.

The ministers met with Madonsela on Friday after a copy of her report was leaked to Mail & Guardian.

Madonsela’s spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said on Friday the report had not been leaked from their office and publishing the details was both unethical and unlawful.

But Mantashe and Duarte blamed the Madonsela for the leak and said no one outside her office would have leaked the report.

Duarte said Madonsela was just too relaxed about the leak that had happened.

Mantashe said the leak was a deliberate attempt to mislead the public and make allegations against the president.

He said any postponement in releasing the report could be interpreted only as a delaying tactic and a political ploy to create negativity around the image and the integrity of the president of the ANC and the party itself.

The leaked report allegedly found that the upgrade, which the cluster of ANC ministers dubbed “security upgrades”, included a swimming pool, visitors’ centre, amphitheatre, cattle kraal, marquee area, extensive paving, and new houses for relatives.

The PP allegedly found that Zuma had received substantial personal benefits from the R215 million upgrade to his private estate at Nkandla; that he had used his political influence to appoint certain contractors; that he had lied to Parliament; and that he should be ordered to repay part of the R215 million that the state had spent on his house.

In the most dramatic turnaround after government’ strenuous efforts to prevent the publication of the Nkandla report, Mantashe yesterday also said he wants the Department of Public Works to make public its classified Nkandla report.

Then all the facts would be on the table and the two reports could be compared so that answers could be found on Nkandla, Mantashe said.

Masibi said Madonsela took note of what the ANC had said, but would only comment today.

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