Officials want media ban at Nkandla hearings

2014-11-16 15:57
Nkandla (File, AFP)

Nkandla (File, AFP)

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Johannesburg- Eleven public works officials facing disciplinary hearings in relation to spending on Nkandla have requested that media be barred from the hearings due to security concerns, the City Press reported on Sunday.

"Given the likelihood of the implication of senior members in the government, there is a real likelihood that the personal safety of the respondents may be in jeopardy," a written submission by the officials quoted by the newspaper read.

The officials are opposing a bid by Media24 and Independent Newspapers to attend the hearings about the R246m upgrades approved for President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

The hearings are set to begin on Monday in Durban.

The officials are also concerned at the fact that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela was provided with extra bodyguards after she released her Nkandla report.

"There is a reasonable apprehension of fear on the part of the [officials] that by divulging such information their lives may be in danger and their future employment in the department, should they be found not guilty of the charges laid, will be damaged."

Phillip Masilo, the legal adviser to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said he did not know why the officials had changed their minds from apparently originally having "no problem" with media attendance.

The accused face various charges related to misconduct and maladministration; as well as violating certain departmental procedures.

Read more on:    nkandla upgrade  |  media

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