Nkandla a constutional barometer: Madonsela

2014-09-11 18:41
Thuli Madonsela. (Sapa)

Thuli Madonsela. (Sapa)

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

Cape Town - The response to a report on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home was a good constitutional barometer, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Thursday.

"There is nothing wrong with that particular investigation per se because I think it became a barometer of where we are in understanding constitutional democracy," she told reporters in Cape Town.

She labelled as "unfortunate" the noise around her investigation into spending on the KwaZulu-Natal home.

"In this part of the world, again, the notion of administrative scrutiny is new."

She said the role of a public protector was only invented 204 years ago in Sweden and less than 50 years ago in Africa, starting in Tanzania.

"We put these nice things in the Constitution, but when the import of the words strike us, we often battle with the wording, not because we are bad people but because we were never confronted with it before."

She said she was glad the "debacle" had quietened down and was proceeding with her work of investigating, supporting the role of Parliamentary oversight in the process.

Asked whether an ad hoc committee on the Nkandla controversy would summon her, Madonsela refused to commit an answer.

"I cannot speculate whether Parliament would invite me or not," she said.

On Tuesday, the ad hoc committee unanimously named ANC MP Cedric Frolick as its chairperson amid calls from the opposition that it should summon Zuma.

The charge was led by Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane who asked Frolick to confirm that the committee had the power of subpoena and said, if so, that it should at its next meeting agree on whom it would call to appear before it.

He was backed by Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema.


However, the African National Congress and Frolick were firm that it was premature to consider calling anybody before it had begun deliberating on several reports on the R246m Nkandla project, and Zuma's submission to Parliament last month in response to those.

In March, Madonsela found that Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the R246m upgrades made to his private Nkandla home.

She said government had built a visitors' centre, cattle kraal and chicken run, a swimming pool, and amphitheatre for Zuma.

She recommended he pay back some of the money that went into the upgrades.

Malema and Maimane, whose parties have heatedly defended Madonsela against slurs from the ANC in recent weeks, said they wanted her to appear before the committee.

The opposition has feared that Madonsela's report would be downplayed in the committee's deliberations, and won assurances from the ANC last week that it would be included in its terms of reference.

Read more on:    da  |  anc  |  eff  |  thuli madonsela  |  mmusi maimane  |  jacob zuma  |  cape town  |  parliament 2014  |  politics

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

24.com 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.


WATCH: Man films himself going down water slide upside down as things go very wrong…

What is at first an exciting tummy-turning adventure stunt, quickly turns into a scarily bad idea caught on camera. Take a look:


You won't want to miss...

Best date night restaurants in South Africa
WATCH: Ryan Reynolds offers fans a free tattoo in new Deadpool 2 teaser
Should you date your co-worker?
Hip Cape Town bars to discover this summer
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 24.com 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.