Nkandla report now top secret

2013-06-21 00:00

THE Nkandla report is now classified as top secret.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi yesterday gave National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu a letter stating that State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele had classified it as such.

The report lists the improvements, worth hundreds of millions of rands, that were made to President Jacob Zuma’s private residence.

The classification was put in place in terms of the Minimum Information Security Standards (MISS).

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said this was totally unacceptable.

MISS was created in December 1996 by cabinet, setting out national information security policy. However, the document never passed through Parliament and as such could not be considered law.

“This confirms the DA’s position that the report has not been ‘classified’ in terms of the law and that the referral of the report to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence [JSCI] is invalid”.

The JSCI meets behind closed doors and its members are sworn to secrecy.

Mazibuko said the DA would table a motion in the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence that the “Nkandlagate” report be sent back to Nxesi “without delay”.

The minister must then submit to Parliament a redacted report [with classified section removed], which must be made public before the relevant open portfolio committees, she said.

Nxesi must also submit copies of the report to Public ProtectorThuli Mandonsela and Auditor-General Terence Nom­bembe.

“It is clear from this latest development that there has been deliberate political intervention from the outset with respect to the Nkandlagate report …

“It is now clear that there has been a deliberate effort to conceal all the contents of this report — even those that relate to non-security items — as part of a concerted effort to shield President Jacob Zuma from accountability.”

Now that the truth about the invalid classification of the report was out, Nxesi should do the right thing and make the report public without delay, she said.

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