Nkandla ad-hoc committee to visit Zuma's homestead

2015-07-22 05:26
(City Press)

(City Press)

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Durban - Parliament's ad-hoc committee on Nkandla will conduct an in-loco inspection of President Jacob Zuma's controversial KwaZulu-Natal homestead on Wednesday.

Chairperson of the committee Cedric Frolick said recently that the visit to the president’s private residence would not be open to the media because the committee did not have the legal authority to allow the media to enter Zuma’s house.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko told the committee on Tuesday that more money may have to be spent on Nkandla to install additional security.

This was because public scrutiny had compromised Zuma's safety, he said.

“The security experts must go back to assess the extent of vulnerability and how the president has been exposed,” Nhleko told the committee in Pietermaritzburg.

“We won't know how much it will cost before this exercise is done. But [with] the security issue, we will arrive at a different conclusion because of the re-evaluation.”

Nhleko on Tuesday repeated much of what he said at the release of his own Nkandla report on May 28.

He said the amphitheatre and soil retention wall, visitors’ centre, “firepool”, kraal and culvert, were all security features and maintained that Zuma did not have to pay for these.

This contradicted Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s own findings - released in March 2014 - that Zuma should pay for those features not related to security, like the pool and the amphitheatre.

The Economic Freedom Fighters and the Congress of the People criticised the visit.

"We are not part of that which is constituted by cowards. That Nhleko report does not exist," EFF spokesperson Mbuyeseni Ndlozi told News24 on Tuesday.

"That report is organised and compiled by a person who is a garden worker in Zuma's plantation. The only report is the Public Protector one saying he [Zuma] must pay back the money."

Cope called on opposition parties serving in the committee to boycott the planned visit.

"It is our view that this visit, following the scandalous 'Nhleko report', is a mere ploy to sanction further expenditure on the president’s homestead at Nkandla," Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said in a statement.

"The real purpose of the ruling party in agreeing to this visit, is to justify and support further upgrades recommended by Nhleko. There is no way that the opposition parties will ever convince the blind and arrogant members of the ruling party to see the truth for what it is."

The Democratic Alliance said that while the committee, which included members of its party, was conducting the visit, it would conduct an "alternative oversight visit" to the towns and villages in and around Nkandla.

"The DA delegation will assess the standard of living of those in Nkandla who lead ordinary lives, in contrast to the palatial and extravagant private home of President Zuma that the Nkandla ad-hoc committee members will be overseeing at the same time," it said in a statement.

"The DA delegation will also conduct oversight of the R135m SANDF [SA National Defence Force] housing project built to house soldiers stationed at President Zuma’s home."

The party would also brief media near Zuma's home afterwards.

Read more on:    dennis bloem  |  jacob zuma  |  nathi nhleko  |  thuli madonsela  |  nkandla upgrade

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