Ministers to submit Nkandla response

2013-11-15 17:52
Thuli Madonsela (Picture: Beeld)

Thuli Madonsela (Picture: Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The security cluster of ministers will submit their response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's provisional Nkandla report by the end of business on Friday, the justice department said.

"Government emphasises that it is standard practice for any litigant to review its stance when the objective of the litigation has been achieved - in this case, the opportunity to submit comments by today, 15 November 2013," spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said in a statement.

"After submission of its response, government will be guided by how the public protector deals with the matter moving forward."

The report on the R206m upgrade of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal was given to the security cluster on 1 November, following a special request for access ahead of all other parties to establish whether its contents would compromise Zuma's security.

The cluster wanted more than five days to study the document but Madonsela declined the request.

The cluster then filed an urgent application in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria last week for more time to peruse the report before it was given to the affected parties.

The court postponed the matter to Friday.

On Thursday, the cluster withdrew the urgent application, saying it had already obtained - through the court process - the extra time it needed to study the report.

On Friday morning, the State said it would pay the legal costs.

"As a result of this withdrawal, government undertook to pay legal costs in this matter, in accordance with the rules of the court," Mhaga said.

In their affidavit on Thursday, the ministers said they would abandon their action opposing the release of the report.

The ministers said it would be academic to persist with the court action as they had already secured the extension of time they had wanted.

Madonsela on Friday welcomed the cluster's withdrawal of the application.

Her office said she had received the formal notice on Friday.

"The public protector hopes that a co-operative relationship with all parties involved in the investigation will be restored and subsist, without the incurrence of yet further legal costs to be borne by the taxpayer," spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said in a statement.

Read more on:    thuli madonsela  |  nkandla upgrade

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