‘Give all Nkandla papers to panel’

2014-09-19 00:00

CAPE TOWN — All documents pertaining to the Nkandla estate, classified or not, must be handed over to Parliament’s ad hoc committee.

Nothing must remain secret. And President Jacob Zuma must appear before the committee.

Opposition MPs on the committee maintained this as a non-negotiable position during yesterday’s sitting of the committee.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach demanded that a confidential cabinet memorandum setting out the procedures for determining the security needs at the estate be placed before the committee.

The Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) report mentions this document, but reveals no details.

The Freedom Front Plus’s Corné Mulder said the committee must get a copy of the public protector’s letter to Zuma in response to his letter to her last week, in which he challenged her constitutional powers.

Floyd Shivambu of the EFF said that as a matter of principle, the committee must demand all documents, even classified ones.

The ANC’s Mathole Motshekga said the party is willing to place all “relevant” documents before the committee, but chairperson Cedric Frolick said the committee would have to consult legal advice.

Opposition MPs also demanded that Zuma and the public protector should appear as soon as possible — Thuli Madonsela to explain her report and Zuma to testify about his involvement in the Nkandla project.

The ANC objected and Frolick refused to bind the committee to this.

Motshekga said committee members would get another chance to propose who should be summoned, but it was “premature” to decide.

ANC member Mmamoloko Kubayi said they should first analyse the reports before deciding who to call, but the EFF said this was a delaying tactic.

Mulder pointed out that the committee’s mandate is not to review the protector’s report, but to require of the executive, “in this case the president”, what is being done to implement the recommendation that a portion of the costs be repaid.

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