Mantashe eager to read Nkandla report

2013-11-08 19:46
(Picture: City Press)

(Picture: City Press)

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Cape Town - ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Friday he was keen to read the provisional report on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, unaware that government was interdicting its release.

He was asked at an ANC lunch in Cape Town what he thought of the security cluster going to court to interdict Public Protector Thuli Madonsela from releasing her provisional report to certain parties.

Seemingly unaware of the urgent application on Friday afternoon, he said he was waiting as patiently as anyone else for the report.

"That's why I always come up very strong against casting aspersions before the report is out because when you do that, you are psyching society," he told reporters.

"That's my stand. Issue the report. Let's see it. Let's read it. Once we have the report, we can talk to issues that come out of the report."

When reporters informed him of the application that was heard in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, he said he could not speak for government.

"I'm here now. I don't know. It may be something different because one of the issues that came out of a court process was the unsustainability of all the time having two state institutions reporting on the same issue because it caused confusion in society.

"I was asking them: 'There is this report coming. You had your own report, which one should we read?' I think if they are sorting that themselves. I will wait and see what comes out of it."

Mantashe said the reality of the matter was that it was not right to have one institution shooting down others, whether that was the Independent Electoral Commission, the presidency, or government.

"It can't be correct that you have only one institution that is correct. Then it means the crisis is bigger. That would be the issue."

He was speaking after a two-day visit to the Cape Flats.

Application postponed

On Friday afternoon, Advocate William Mokhari, for the security cluster, argued that an interdict was necessary to allow for comments on security issues arising from the report.

The application was postponed until 15 November to allow Madonsela time to file an answering affidavit and for the parties to file heads of argument.

Madonsela undertook not to release the provisional report pending the outcome of the application.

Madonsela's office said earlier that she was due to receive comments on the report from organs of state within the security cluster on Friday.

This followed a special request made by the organs of state in question to have access to the report ahead of all other parties, to establish if the contents of the report would compromise Zuma's security.

"The report was shared with the said parties on 1 November, with a return date of Wednesday. The deadline was subsequently extended to Friday, following a request from the organs of state concerned," it said.

Nkandla has been at the centre of controversy after it emerged that the public works department had approved upgrades to the KwaZulu-Natal homestead costing R206m.

When questions were raised about these upgrades, a task team of the public works department was set up. It later found irregularities in the procurement process for the upgrade.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  gwede mantashe  |  pietermaritzburg  |  nkandla upgrade

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