ANC welcomes Nkandla report

By Drum Digital
19 December 2013

The ANC welcomed the release of the inter-ministerial task team report into the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

The ANC welcomed the release of the inter-ministerial task team report into the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead on Thursday. "Investigations by their very nature are undertaken with the intention of establishing the truth from facts about a situation," secretary general Gwede Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg. "The African National Congress appreciates therefore that such facts were succinctly presented by the inter-ministerial task team today." The ruling party was confident the questions that had been troubling it had been answered. "The statement presented by government has been explicit that President Zuma did not request the upgradesand he did not participate in the decision-making on any aspects of the upgrades," he said. The ANC called on all interested parties to wait for the release of the Public Protector's report into the security upgrades. "We have previously called upon the office of the Public Protector to release this report as a matter of urgency," Mantashe said. "This must be done to allow engagement where there are points of divergence between the two reports of the two state bodies tasked to investigate the matter." Earlier on Thursday, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said allegations that Zuma used state resources to build and upgrade his Nkandla residence were unfounded. Releasing a task team report in Pretoria following an investigation into allegations indicating that costs for the upgrades were excessive, Nxesi said Zuma had not asked for the upgrades. "The requirement to provide security for presidents, both sitting and retired, remains the responsibility of government. The Ministerial Handbook did not adequately address security around the head of state, deputy president and their families." Ministers of the justice, crime prevention, and security cluster flanked Nxesi as he released the report. The report was expected to be released earlier in December but was postponed. Cabinet then ordered its release. The decision was announced after an attack by the African National Congress on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela about the timing of her own report on the over R206 million upgrade.

"[We have] endorsed the recommendations and directed that the report be released to the public," Cabinet said at the time.

Earlier this year, Nxesi classified the report, saying it would put Zuma's safety at risk if was released.

On October 8, The Western Cape High Court ruled that a Democratic Alliance bid for the release of the report was urgent.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko approached the court on September 30 to obtain an order compelling the public works department to provide her with a copy of the task team's report.

A few weeks ago, the Mail & Guardian reported that Madonsela had found in her preliminary report that Zuma had misled Parliament, and had benefited substantially from about R20 million worth of work that had nothing to do with security features, including a swimming pool.

Madonsela condemned the leak of the report to the newspaper.

-by Sapa

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