Nkandla report: Madonsela’s unreasonable, says Radebe

2013-11-09 14:05

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Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was being unreasonable when she decided to release her provisional report into Nkandla without obtaining comments from ministers in the security cluster, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe has said.

Speaking at a media briefing in Pretoria today to clarify government’s court action, Radebe said four working days was not sufficient for ministers in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster to peruse and analyse a 357-page report dealing with the R206 million spent on security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla residence.

“In providing us the opportunity to comment on the provisional report before it is released to other affected, implicated and interested parties, the public protector recognises the legal obligation to ensure that the provisional report does not compromise national security and the security of the president...,” Radebe said.

He said the protector handed her report to the ministers on November 1, setting a deadline of November 6 for comments.

After attempts to get an extension to properly analyse the report was denied, government had no choice but to turn to the courts for intervention.

“The public protector has, in our view, unreasonably denied us the opportunity to properly engage with the report as requested by the public protector,” Radebe said.

Both Radebe and fellow minister in the JCPS cluster, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele, denied there were any attempts to frustrate or intimidate Madonsela, or to block the release of the report.

“It must be emphasised that government has no intention or interest in undermining the work of the public protector,” Radebe said.

“On the contrary, government has consistently and transparently engaged on the matter following a probe that was conducted by government whose findings were announced to the public in January this year.”

An urgent application by the cluster to prevent Madonsela from releasing the provisional report was postponed in the High Court in Pretoria yesterday. It will be heard next Friday.

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