Ministers respond to Madonsela

2013-11-21 17:48
Thuli Madonsela  (Picture: Volksblad)

Thuli Madonsela (Picture: Volksblad)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Cabinet ministers tried to reclaim the public discourse on the Nkandla affair from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Thursday.

They contended that the president's security was their responsibility and required secrecy.

State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele and his colleagues at police, defence, and public works responded to Madonsela's statement on Wednesday that she regretted consenting to their request to scrutinise her preliminary report on the R206m improvements at Nkandla for security risks.

Madonsela said she would ask the ministers to nominate experts to meet her to discuss contested aspects of the report in a bid to depoliticise it.

Said Cwele: "At no stage did the cluster try to politicise the report. All that we are doing, we are exercising our constitutional mandate in terms of section 198 of the Constitution, which says national executive and Parliament have got the responsibility to uphold national security, including that of the head of state, the president.

"It is not optional, we are constitutionality obliged," he said.

Cwele said Cabinet would apply all laws on the statute books to the president's homestead in rural KwaZulu-Natal, including the National Key Points Act and the Protection of State Information Act - the apartheid-era official secrets law.

He went on to defend the state's decision to classify the report of the government task team that probed reports of misspending at Nkandla by saying it could not "outsource" its responsibilities on national security.

Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence, which debated that report behind closed doors, last week in effect justified the use of public funds at Zuma's homestead.

Cwele and his colleagues hammered home the message that MPs found no evidence that the public works department paid for improvements to Zuma's private property and that security structures, necessitated by his status, were set up on adjacent state land.

Propaganda campaign

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said Zuma was the victim of a propaganda campaign suggesting he used taxpayers' money for his private home.

"We have seen these things being peddled, said time and time again, that the state built the houses for the president with R206m, which is a lie.

"Those who do so follow the example of Goebbels, the propagandist of Hitler. No matter how often you repeat this lie, it is a lie. We have disaggregated this R200m, where it went, and most of it went to the security features."

Madonsela told a media briefing on Wednesday that the government had tried to obstruct her investigation into the improvements at Nkandla in many ways, including accusing her of conducting parallel investigations.

On Friday, she received a 28-page submission from Mthethwa on behalf of the ministers in the security cluster stating their concerns on potential security risks posed by her provisional report.

Madonsela said she would amend the provisional report where she saw fit, but if she needed to consult on the ministerial objections, she would not talk to them, but to security experts nominated by the state.

This comes after the ministers took her to court to secure more time to study her report than the five days she had allowed.

The court challenge marked a new low in Madonsela's increasingly fractious relationship with the government.

Read more on:    siyabonga cwele  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  cape town  |  nkandla upgrade

Join the conversation! 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.
NEXT ON NEWS24X 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

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


Men.24 Model of the Week: Wendy from Cape Town

Find out more about our featured model, Wendy from Cape Town


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
WATCH: Pornhub is giving users free access to premium content these holidays
5 top leg exercises for men
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 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.