Lay charges over corruption at Nkandla: Mantashe

By Drum Digital
09 January 2014

Those who benefited corruptly from the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's homestead in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, must be criminally pursued, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

"Those who will believe they are scapegoats because... they acted on directions of certain political principals have the responsibility to disclose who those political principals are," Mantashe said.

He was briefing the media in Mpumalanga following a three-day meeting with members of the party's national executive committee (NEC), which ended on Thursday.

Leaders of the African National Congress were in Mpumalanga ahead of the ANC's 102nd anniversary celebrations, which take place on Saturday.

Mantashe said the committee had accepted the inter-ministerial task team's report on Nkandla, but had concerns about the amount spent on the security upgrades at Zuma's homestead.

He said the NEC was "keen to read" Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on the matter.

"We are comfortable with the facts that are stated in the report of the inter-ministerial task team. We would be surprised if there is another set of facts that the Public Protector will depend on.

"Our understanding is that, throughout that investigation, the Public Protector herself was interacting with those ministers that are involved. So the set of facts will be the same," he said.

Any delay in the release of the report by Madonsela would be viewed as politically motivated.

"The Public Protector has been working on that report for a long period of time. She has released the preliminary report and we are not expecting her to sit for another six months to release the report," Mantashe said.

"If [she] sits on the report and releases it close to the elections, we will actually assume that it is intended to tilt the balance of forces in the elections. We stand by that.

"[She] must release the report, the sooner the better, so that we can see both reports, see what the differences are, and have a public discussion [about them]."

Mantashe said that if Madonsela released the report close to the elections, it would be with the intention to "muddy the waters in the election campaign".

Last month, Madonsela dismissed claims that she planned to release her report in March with the aim of influencing the 2014 general elections.

"I never said the report would be released in March next year," she told reporters in Pretoria at the time.

"I said I was trying to have the report released by the end of the year, but the likelihood is that it will be released in January 2014."

The Mail&Guardian reported in November that Madonsela had found in her preliminary report that Zuma had misled Parliament and had benefited substantially from a R206m upgrade to his homestead.

A parliamentary committee's findings on the report indicated that it had cleared Zuma, finding no evidence that taxpayers' money had been used to pay for his private home -- as he has insisted in statements to the National Assembly.

-SAPA

Find Love!

Men
Women