Nkandla report process flawed - Holomisa

2015-03-23 13:02
 Nkandla. (File, AFP)

Nkandla. (File, AFP)

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Cape Town - United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa says the process proposed by National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete to "clean" Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report on Nkandla before it goes public, is "flawed".

On Sunday, News24 reported that the Nkandla ad hoc committee would reconvene in order to deal with Nhleko's expected determination on the security upgrades following meetings with Mbete last week.

However, the proposed approach suggested by the Speaker was met with criticism from opposition parties, including DA Parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane and Holomisa.

In a letter written to the Speaker on Friday, Holomisa was critical of Mbete’s proposal for opposition parties to discuss the report in private before it is presented in Parliament.

'Public interest'

“I am convinced that the process we are about to embark upon is flawed and requires revisiting of the decision taken [on Thursday] as it may compromise the integrity of the House,” the letter read.

Holomisa took issue with the Speaker's pre-emptive suggestion that the Police Minister’s determination could contain "sensitive matters", and should therefore be screened, despite not having seen the report herself.

The UDM leader also stressed the meetings would be dubious if it left the media out of the process, as allegedly suggested by Mbete, as the matter is of public interest.

“The UDM will find it extremely difficult to be co-opted into a process that was found to be flawed and dubious,” the letter concluded.

Mbete declined to speculate on the proposals to set up a new Nkandla screening committee, EWN reported on Monday.

‘Secret process’

On Sunday, Maimane slammed the approach Cabinet was taking to vet Nhleko’s determination on the matter, stating the DA would not take part in a "secret process".

"We will not be co-opted, behind closed doors, into agreeing to a sanitised version," Maimane said in a statement.

"The R246m spent on President Zuma’s private residence is a public crime that needs to be dealt with publicly, in a transparent and open manner."

Holomisa, meanwhile, also took issue with the fact that it was still unclear which of the three previous reports compiled on Nkandla security upgrades would be taken into account in the police minister's new report.

Zuma denies wrongdoing

In a report released in March last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said Zuma had unduly benefited from the non-security upgrades to his private Nkandla residence.

She recommended that Zuma pay back "a reasonable percentage of the cost" of R246m.

However, during an answer session in the National Assembly on 11 March Zuma flatly denied personal wrongdoing and any obligation to repay state money spent on his home.

Zuma said he faced no criminal charges over the project, and was under no pressure to reimburse the state because at this stage it was still up to Nhleko to decide whether he was liable to repay any portion of the sum.

Nhleko's decision was only due at month's end, he added.

Maimane said the Nkandla debacle had gone on for too long and the DA was waiting for Nhleko's public determination of how much Zuma owed for the upgrades.

"For too long, President Zuma has evaded responsibility for allowing the maladministration of taxpayer money, which should have instead been used to improve the lives of South Africans," Maimane said.

Read more on:    da  |  udm  |  jacob zuma  |  bantu holomisa  |  mmusi maimane  |  baleka mbete  |  cape town  |  parliament 2015  |  nkandla upgrade  |  politics

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