I did not wake up like this - Nhleko on Nkandla

2015-07-29 17:38
(Nardus Engelbrecht, AFP)

(Nardus Engelbrecht, AFP)

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Parliament - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said on Wednesday he did not just wake up one day and spontaneously decide to go to Nkandla to write up a report on the president’s homestead.

Addressing the Parliamentary ad hoc committee on Nkandla, he hit back at those who questioned the independence and trustworthiness of his report in light of the president being his employer.

He said the question about a conflict of interest is “very interesting” and he is battling to understand what is being implied.

The DA’s John Steenhuisen said: “We trust but we verify and we can’t just take the fact that someone raised their hands and swore an oath of office that they are now washed of all sin and any potential conflicts of interest. That’s not how it works.”

Nhleko said it would be quite unfair to have to answer the question.

Nonetheless, he said: “I am not the one that made a resolution for the minister of police to do this kind of work. It was this house, this Parliament that arrived at this resolution.”

He was also asked if he liaised with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela at all in writing up his report on what constituted security upgrades.

“I did not and there was absolutely no reason why I should have,” he replied.

“If I needed to know how it came about that an amphitheatre needed to be constructed or, for instance, the firepool, the public protector is no authority when it comes to such issues.”

Those with authority included the architects, engineers, designers and people involved at the security evaluation phase.

United Democratic Movement MP Nqabayomzi Kwankwa raised a point about the location of the firepool. He said he had stood at the pool during a tour for MPs and it had been very difficult to see the president’s residence.

“In that case, would it not be difficult to extinguish the fire?” he asked.

Nhleko said they could sit and debate the location of the pool “the whole day”. However, experts conducted an assessment and determined the best place for the pool.

Read more on:    da  |  udm  |  nathi nhleko  |  cape town  |  pietermaritzburg  |  politics  |  nkandla upgrade  |  parliament 2015

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