What next after findings?

2014-03-20 00:00

IN terms of Thuli Madonsela’s findings, and the constitutional powers of the Public Protector’s office, the money wasted at Nkandla must be counted and paid back — much by the president himself; all ministers involved must be reprimanded and their staff’s actions investigated; and benefits for executive leaders be limited in future.

Specifically, the order means the president must:

• find out how much taxpayers’ money was spent for the visitors’ centre, cattle kraal, chicken run, swimming pool, amphitheatre and other non-security measures at Nkandla, within the overall cost of R246 million. He must do so with the help of the Treasury and police service;

• personally repay the state a “reasonable percentage” of the money blown on these items, with the help of the Treasury (the Mail & Guardian has already calculated these items to have cost at least R20 million);

• reprimand all ministers involved for the “appalling” manner in which public funds were “abused” at Nkandla;

• formally report his “intentions” and “remedial action” following the findings to Parliament before April 3 — and notify Madonsela’s office beforehand.

Meanwhile, both the Department of Public Works and the SAPS must:

• conduct an immediate investigation to identify all officials who were or are involved with Nkandla, and decide whether disciplinary action should be taken against them.

The Director-General of Public Works must also:

• determine exactly how much was overspent at Nkandla — and how much must be “recovered” by the state — by hiring a reputable security consultant to assess what should have been spent for legitimate security measures;

• determine to what extent the SAPS and Department of Defence must be held “liable” for gross overspending at Nkandla.

In addition:

• The Secretary of the Cabinet must regularly remind Cabinet ministers about the limits of “enjoying executive benefits” in terms of the country’s laws and policies;

• The Department of Defence must — within six months — produce rules which limit publicly funded opulence for the most powerful officials. Specifically, they must regulate benefits for presidents, deputy presidents, ministers and deputy ministers of defence, and foreign dignitaries “which is aligned with the principles of equality, proportionality, reasonableness and justifiability”;

• The Minister of Police must conduct an “urgent” review of the National Key Points Act to check whether it should apply to post-apartheid presidential privileges.

• It also requires that all further public spending at Nkandla stop immediately, unless it can be shown to be absolutely necessary; and

•All directors-general involved must provide Madonsela with an implementation plan to recover the money and fix the policies prior to May 1.

Significantly, Madonsela also pointed to the fact that citizens would have been saved “millions” had the president and public works minister heeded warnings in the media — specifically a report by the Mail & Guardian in 2009 — that the cost of the Nkandla upgrade at the time was excessive at R65 million and likely to rise quickly.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.