Mbeki — Zuma’s response the most important to come from govt

2014-03-26 00:00

FORMER president Thabo Mbeki has urged his successor, President Jacob Zuma, to study the Public Protector’s report about the R246 million upgrades at his Nkandla homestead carefully, to ensure that the mistakes weren’t repeated.

Mbeki yesterday said that Zuma was right to say he needed time to study the report because some steps might need to be taken to improve the way government works.

He said Zuma’s response was the most important to come out of government. Zuma issued a press release to say he would study the report’s findings and recommendations, while ministers from the security cluster called a press conference to say the report was similar to that produced by the government’s inter-ministerial task team.

“I think it was an important statement made by President Zuma’s office that said that he would study the report and obviously reflect on what he sees, and then he would take the necessary action out of that,” Mbeki said.

Mbeki said although he hadn’t seen the report himself, it was a “very big report” and Zuma’s statement that he needed time to study the report soon after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released it on Wednesday was “the correct way of going about it”.

“From what I’ve seen in the media, it reflects on many elements of our government functions and, as indeed the Public Protector said, there is also hope to ensure that the things that went wrong don’t happen again,” he said.

He said the report implied “that there will have to be a number of steps that will have to be taken” and if Zuma studied the report carefully, he would be able “to base those steps on a real understanding of the matters as they have been raised”.

“I don’t think we should rush, the report comes out on Monday and by Wednesday [you expect to] take action.”

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