DA votes against Nkandla ad hoc committee

2015-06-02 21:01

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Johannesburg - The DA has voted against the establishment of an ad hoc committee that is to consider Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's report on security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private home at Nkandla, after it was prevented from making amendments to the committee's terms of reference, the party said on Tuesday.

"Today is a great loss for executive accountability as the ANC majority in Parliament blocked the DA’s amendment that sought to include the report by the Public Protector entitled “Secure in Comfort” in the terms of reference of the Nkandla ad hoc committee," Maimane said.

He said the amendment had also sought to compel the committee to summon President Jacob Zuma, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi to appear before the committee.

Maimane said his party voted against the committee because it would be "nothing more than a smoke screen" to shield Zuma from any responsibilities.

"The DA will engage in the parliamentary process to hold the President to account."

The party would pursue "all available options" to make sure that Zuma was held to account for the non-security upgrades at his private homestead, said Maimane.

Last week, Nhleko released the final report into the upgrades at the homestead. He told reporters in Cape Town that Zuma was not required to pay back any money.

Nhleko said the upgrades, that included a swimming pool and cattle kraal - slammed by opposition parties as lavish and wasteful - were legitimate security features.

Nhleko's account was contrary to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report, released in March 2014, which found that Zuma had to pay back a "reasonable" portion of the money spent on upgrades not related to security as he and his family had "unduly benefited" from them.

Maimane said Nhleko's report could not be considered in isolation, and that Madonsela's recommendations should be upheld.

"The report compiled by Minister Nhleko, wherein he absolves the President of any liability for the undue benefit he received from the upgrades to Nkandla, is constitutionally fatally flawed, biased and manifestly irrational."

Maimane said Nhleko did not have any authority to overrule the office of the Public Protector, which was a Chapter 9 institution.

Nhleko owed his appointment as a minister to Zuma, he said.

"The Minister is clearly intent on not biting the hand that feeds him."

Earlier, the ANC sent National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete a list of the MPs it had selected to serve on the committee.

The office of the ANC chief whip said the party would be represented by the following voting members:

- Deputy chief whip Doris Dlakude;

- House chairperson Cedric Frolick;

- Chairperson of the portfolio committee on justice and correctional services, Mathole Motshekga;

- Chairperson of the portfolio committee on police, Francois Beukman;

- Chairperson of the portfolio committee on telecommunications and postal services, Mmamoloko Kubayi;

- Chairperson of the portfolio committee on tourism, Beatrice Ngcobo;

- Whip of the portfolio committee on defence and military veterans, Dumisani Gamede;

- Whip of the portfolio committee on science and technology, Lindiwe Maseko.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  nkandla upgrade

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