'Rubbish' Nkandla report shows calibre of Cabinet - Holomisa

Johannesburg - Cabinet's acceptance of Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's "rubbish" report into so-called security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home is cowardly and says something about the calibre of ministers.

This is according to United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa, who called the report a whitewash and led opposition parties in a boycott of the recent ad hoc committee set up to deal with the report in Parliament.

"It ridiculed the calibre of the Cabinet that we have," he told News24.

"It just exposed what kind of cowards we have in Cabinet. For senior members of Cabinet like Naledi Pandor, Lindiwe Sisulu, Jeff Radebe to allow that rubbish to even surface in the first instance tells us a lot about their calibre."

Holomisa said he believed ministers were willing to keep quiet in order to keep their jobs.

Nhleko report contrary to Madonsela report

Last week, Nhleko released the final report into the upgrades at the president's KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

He told reporters in Cape Town that Zuma was not required to pay back any money.

He said the upgrades such as a swimming pool and cattle kraal which were slammed by opposition parties as lavish and wasteful, were in fact legitimate security features.

Nhleko's account was contrary to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report, Secure in Comfort, released in March 2014, which found that Zuma had to pay back a "reasonable" portion of the money spent on upgrades not related to security as he and his family had "unduly benefited" from them.

"In the meeting with the Speaker when she wanted us to endorse that report, I asked one question - in terms of Thuli Madonsela's findings, she said that the National Treasury assisted by police must determine [if Zuma should pay].

"Then Zuma snubbed the National Treasury. They didn't involve it and I said if National Treasury is not involved we cannot find the real answer here because [it] would have established through a forensic audit and investigate timelines, who gave what instructions and how much was spent as a result of that instruction.

"That would have exposed the architect, Zuma and his contractors which he introduced to [the department of] public works."

Third ad hoc committee

This was why Holomisa decided to boycott the ad hoc committee.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, Congress of the People, Inkatha Freedom Party and the African Christian Democratic Party joined the UDM in withdrawing from the third ad hoc committee on Nkandla.

The Democratic Alliance announced that it would participate after getting legal advice.

Holomisa said the UDM would not be rushing to court on this matter, but the fight over Nkandla was not over.

"The word ‘over’ on Nkandla should not be in anybody's vocabulary."

Warning for ANC

He said the UDM was happy that Madonsela was willing to engage Zuma on the report and it would wait to see if the president "snubbed" her again.

However, the DA had made noise about it and if it decided to go to court and asked the UDM to join as a friend of the court the party would not mind.

For the ANC, Holomisa said the party would only stand up against the president and Nkandla if some up-and-coming people decided to revolt.

"Don't expect anyone from the current seniors to raise a finger.

"The rank and file of the ANC one day will say enough is enough but it will be too late for them and too late for the country."

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