Security cluster submits Nkandla response

2013-11-15 19:21
Nkandla (Cornél van Heerden, Beeld)

Nkandla (Cornél van Heerden, Beeld)

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Johannesburg - The security cluster of ministers submitted its response on Friday to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's provisional Nkandla report, government communications said.

"These comments reflect that government has acted in good faith to uphold national security and the security of the president of the Republic of South Africa," the Government Communication and Information System said in a statement.

"Government will await the public protector's process around this report and notes that the public protector indicated in court that a clear process will be outlined publicly."

The report on the R206 million upgrade of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal was given to the security cluster on 1 November, following a special request for access ahead of all other parties to establish whether its contents would compromise Zuma's security.

The cluster wanted more than five days to study the document but Madonsela declined the request.

The cluster then filed an urgent application in the High Court in Pretoria last week for more time to peruse the report before it was given to the affected parties.

The court postponed the matter to Friday.

On Thursday, the cluster withdrew the urgent application, saying it had already obtained - through the court process - the extra time it needed to study the report.

On Friday morning, the State said it would pay the legal costs.

Got what they wanted

"As a result of this withdrawal, government undertook to pay legal costs in this matter, in accordance with the rules of the court," justice department spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga said.

In their affidavit on Thursday, the ministers said they would abandon their action opposing the release of the report.

The ministers said it would be academic to persist with the court action as they had already secured the extension of time they had wanted.

Madonsela on Friday welcomed the cluster's withdrawal of the application. Her office said she had received the formal notice on Friday.

"The public protector hopes that a co-operative relationship with all parties involved in the investigation will be restored and subsist, without the incurrence of yet further legal costs to be borne by the taxpayer," spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said in a statement.

Read more on:    public protector  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  nkandla upgrade

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