Minister won't report on police lease scandal

2011-09-08 19:20

Cape Town - Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde will not report to Cabinet on her role in the police headquarters saga as the public protector had requested, government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday.

"The public protector case is not a Cabinet case. It is a case between the minister and the president. It is not a Cabinet issue," Manyi said at a regular post-Cabinet briefing.

"The minister does not report to the Cabinet, the minister reports to the president."

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found in July that the contracts public works concluded with businessman Roux Shabangu to rent police headquarters in Durban and Pretoria at inflated prices were "fatally flawed".

Madonsela's report on the matter painted a damning picture of the minister's conduct and said her department was guilty of "serious maladministration".

It recommended that President Jacob Zuma consider taking action against Mahlangu-Nkabinde and request her to explain herself to Cabinet within 60 days.

Attempts to obtain comment from the presidency on Thursday proved fruitless.

The Democratic Alliance's public works spokesperson John Steenhuisen said the minister must explain herself not only to Cabinet, but to the whole country.

"I think it is most unusual that a directive of the public protector is being ignored in this way," he said.

"I don't think it is a matter between the president and the minister. It is a matter between her and the people of South Africa, who she as a Cabinet minister represents."

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