PP asked to fix ‘flaws’

2014-04-22 00:00

THE group of lawyers and teachers who threatened to take Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to court over the Nkandla report is now considering asking her to lodge a review application if she is to save face and avoid humiliation from their court action.

The group last month announced that they were preparing court papers because they wanted Madonsela’s Nkandla report nullified by the courts, which they asked to restart the investigation because, according to them, it had flaws.

Madonsela found, among other things, that President Jacob Zuma and his family unduly benefited from non-security upgrades at his home. She also found that money was diverted towards the project, and that the prices were inflated.

Her recommendation was that Zuma, with the assistance of the National Treasury and the police, should determine the reasonable cost of the non-security measures implemented at Nkandla and repay them.

However, the group has said Madonsela had no power to order that Zuma pay back a considerable percentage for the non-security features installed during the upgrade on his homestead.

Yesterday, attorney Comfort Ngidi of Concerned Lawyers and Educationists for Equality Before the Law said their advocates were now finalising the drafting of the court papers.

“We should file next week,” he said.

The group have undertaken to file court papers since last month.

However, Ngidi said, “To save face and not humiliate her our advocates ask if it is not advisable to ask Madonsela to approach the court to ask for an opportunity to correct mistakes that were contained in her report.

“There are so many errors in that report that are blatant,” Ngidi said.

Ngidi also said their request for Madonsela to approach court was informed by comments ascribed to her that she could not make changes to the report unless the courts directed her to do so.

He also said in the event Madonsela was not asked to approach court, their group could approach Parliament to ask her to correct errors in the report as an institution she was accountable to. The last option the group could take was just to institute the legal challenge as previously envisaged.

Ngidi said the group’s work on making presentations to organisations on the Nkandla report was going very well.

“We have established groups in Gauteng and Free State. We will establish other groups in East London and Nelspruit. We have had sessions in KZN, Free State, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal,” he said.

Ngidi said they had received warm receptions wherever they had gone as opposed to the hostile reception, including from the media, they had anticipated before embarking on the exercise. He insisted that their initiative was not about shielding Zuma from paying up, but about Madonsela doing her job in a proper and professional manner.

Madonsela’s spokesperson Kgalelo Masibi could not be reached for comment and her cellphone went unanswered.

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