Nkandla: Mbete awaits Ramaphosa ‘green light’ on next step

2015-04-23 12:21

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The Nkandla parliamentary process has stalled until clarity about certain procedures has been obtained from the leader of Government Business, Cyril Ramaphosa, MPs were told this morning.

“The moment the deputy president [Ramaphosa] is back in the country, I will stage a sit-in in his office … so we can get on with our process,” National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete told a meeting of the parliamentary programming committee.

The deputy president has been on a state visit to Indonesia this week.

Parliament has not yet tabled a report by Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko, who was tasked by an ad hoc committee on Nkandla to determine President Jacob Zuma’s liability for nonsecurity upgrades conducted at his Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal. Nhleko completed his report before the March 30 deadline.

“It has not disappeared. I just cannot say that I believe that on such and such a day, it [the Nhleko report] will be here,” Mbete told the committee.

Various discussions about the next step have taken place between Mbete and political parties, and led to United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa raising objections and withdrawing from the parliamentary process dealing with Nkandla. He accused Mbete of attempting to censor the report, which she has denied.

Democratic Alliance chief whip John Steenhuisen requested that at the next sitting of the National Assembly in the first week of May, the speaker moves for a resolution to re-establish an ad hoc committee on Nkandla to process the report.

Steenhuisen said this should be done irrespective of whether clarity about outstanding issues – apparently involving additional submissions besides Nhleko’s report – had been cleared up by Ramaphosa.

“I think we should consider this suggestion,” said Mbete, who confirmed last week that she had been in contact with Ramaphosa as the matter related to a report from the executive.

The controversial Nkandla matter has dragged on for over a year since Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that the president and his family had unduly benefited from the R246-million upgrades. She recommended that he pay back a portion of money for the upgrades.

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