SA Catholic Church adds voice to Nkandla furore

2015-06-02 14:10
Nkandla (File, City Press)

Nkandla (File, City Press)

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Johannesburg – President Jacob Zuma needs to show leadership and take responsibility for the spending at Nkandla, the Catholic Church said on Tuesday.

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s finding that Zuma was not liable for any of the upgrades to his Nkandla homestead was met with dismay by the Justice and Peace Commission of the Southern African Bishops’ Conference, Bishop Abel Gabuza said in a statement.

While millions of people were struggling to make ends meet, it was morally unjustifiable for R246m to be spent on one man’s home, for features that had nothing to do with security, said Gabuza.

“We therefore appeal to the president to show ethical leadership and take some responsibility for the runaway expenditure on the Nkandla project.”

Gabuza said the commission was concerned the Nkandla affair would harm national efforts to end corruption and achieve moral regeneration.

“We strongly appeal to the government to make sure that the Nkandla saga does not diminish the capacity of the office of the Public Protector to fight corruption,” Gabuza said.

Possible court action

On Monday, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said the matter may be taken to court if Zuma fails to implement the remedial action her office suggested in its Nkandla report.

Speaking on The Justice Factor on eNCA, Madonsela encouraged Zuma to approach the courts himself to settle the matter once and for all.

"We are now at the level of oversight, where the role players become the Public Protector, the President, Parliament and ultimately the courts.

"The best authority to take this matter to court would be the President. To just get the court to say 'What really should he do now?' and secondly, 'What should be the powers of the Public Protector?'"

She said this would ultimately improve Zuma's relationship with the Public Protector's office.

Read more on:    roman catholic church  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  nkandla upgrade

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