EFF raises concern over Nkandla report

2013-06-21 14:34
(Khaya Ngwenya, City Press)

(Khaya Ngwenya, City Press)

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Johannesburg - The so-called Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) expressed concern on Friday over a report that State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele declared the Nkandla report top-secret.

"How on earth can this particular minister hide a report on how more than R200m of state money was spent to upgrade the private residence of Mr Jacob Zuma?" spokesperson Floyd Shivambu asked in a statement.

Independent Online reported on Friday that Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi told Parliament this week that Cwele had classified the report, drawn up by a presidential task team, in terms of the Minimum Information Security Standards.

This meant that not even Auditor General Terence Nombembe or Public Protector Thuli Madonsela would be able to lay their hands on the report.

In a letter to National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu, dated 19 June, Nxesi reportedly said he would submit the Nkandla report - on Cwele’s behalf - to the chairperson of the joint standing committee on intelligence, Cecil Burgess.

Nxesi said the minister had been unable to provide the auditor general and the public protector with copies of the report "owing to its classification as top secret", but was "attending to the challenge that it presented".

Drawing conclusions

After getting legal opinion, Sisulu said he would allow the Nkandla report to be considered behind closed doors by the intelligence committee only.

Shivambu said because the report had been declared top-secret certain conclusions could be made.

These included Zuma's sanction of the construction and renovation using public funds.

The public works department had exceeded the budget and failed to provide a "sound reason to justify it... [and] there was no law to justify the state's actions, so it had to hide the information".

"All these, and many other things that will still come up towards elections next year, justify our observation as Economic Freedom Fighters that South Africa is degenerating into a kleptocracy [government of thieves]," Shivambu said.

"South Africa under President Zuma is not safe."

- SAPA

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