‘Cowardly’ ANC says it’s ‘not sorry’ for criticising Thuli Madonsela

2015-07-31 11:21
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela at her offices in Pretoria. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela at her offices in Pretoria. Picture: Leon Sadiki/City Press

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The ANC said it would not apologise for calling Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Nkandla report misleading and used its majority in the Parliamentary ad hoc committee last night to ensure that she would not appear before them to answer questions about it. 

This means that the committee will go ahead with the process to consider Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report and will then present its own report on Nkandla to the National Assembly for finalisation. 

It is expected that the committee’s report will, just like Nhleko’s report, clear President Jacob Zuma of any wrongdoing in connection with the millions of rands of taxpayers’ money that was spent on renovations to his house in Nkandla. 

Opposition MPs on the committee insisted during a two-hour meeting yesterday that the committee had a duty in terms of principles of natural justice to hear Madonsela’s side of the story after she was accused by members of the committee of misleading the nation in connection with the renovations. 

Freedom Front Plus MP Corné Mulder said yesterday to ANC MPs that it was “quite obvious” what was happening. 

“The ruling party is using its majority in the legislature to subvert the finding of the Public Protector, to subvert he remedial action she has recommended in accordance with the Constitution, and to subvert that sphere of government by using its majority in the legislature. 

“You can do it here but, I’m telling you, it won’t succeed in terms of perception out there and will not stand up in a court.” 

Various members of opposition parties voiced their disappointment yesterday that the ANC, after an earlier meeting in which it looked like the party was open to the possibility that Madonsela would make an appearance, decided to not call any more witnesses. 

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach went as far as to call the ANC committee members “cowards” who were not brave enough to take Madonsela on to her face. 

The ANC responded by saying it wasn’t the committee’s job to review Madonsela’s findings and so they could not call her. The party’s MPs didn’t hesitate to dismiss the findings they disagreed with in Madonsela’s report. 

Senior ANC MP Mathole Motshekga referred to the “fire pool” and the amphitheatre, and said: “We [the committee] went to Nkandla; we came back with different opinions. We should not, and can not, apologise when we say that the Public Protector’s report is misleading and has misled the nation.” 

Motshekga said the differences in opinion were not equivalent to attacks on the Public Protector or her report. 

Various ANC MPs said the mandate of the committee was only to consider Nhleko’s report, as well as that of Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, and to take their own report to the National Assembly. 

Nhleko’s report, which found that all the renovations were done for security reasons, contradicted Madonsela’s report, which found that Zuma should repay money for the upgrades such as the pool, kraal and chicken run, which were not really security features.

Read more on:    thuli ­madonsela  |  nkandla

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