Your top questions on Nkandla report answered

2015-05-28 18:56
(Joe Stolley, News24)

(Joe Stolley, News24)

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Johannesburg - Here are the top three sets of questions that were pitched by journalists on the police’s Nkandla report released on Thursday. Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi responded.

First set of questions around Public Protector: Are you criticising Chapter 9 institutions, because you seem to indicate that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela made a number of insinuations? She is an advocate, which means she is not an expert on various government institutions. If you are saying now that we can reject her findings, are you not saying it is open to government ministers or others to reject her findings?

Nhleko answers: I am not making insinuations. There is a specific finding that says measures were implemented in the name of security.

There is a suggestion of impropriety. It's like me saying here that you are asking me this question in the name of journalism, not by the mere fact that you want to clarify. You must know if I say that, that I am questioning your professional standard. All I am saying that if there was wrongdoing, they must be taken to account.

Did I say that the public protector is not a security expert? [Journalist says it was his impression]. An impression is not what I said. An impression is what you make up in your head.

What I said in the report were quotations from what other reports said. In this report, I do not say that she is not a security expert. 

Second set of questions around public sentiment (and how Zuma feels): Will this report resolve the public outcry? How do you think the public will react to news that there are more upgrades that need to be done and more money to be spent? Do we know how much more this will cost? How has Zuma reacted to the report and do you agree with him that Nkandla is “just a house”?

Nhleko answers: South African people are not stupid. All this report does is show that there are issues questioned and issues in dispute. The question is: why are these issues disputed? I wouldn’t know how the president would have reacted to this report. "Just a house" sounds like a political statement to me. I don't know. Certainly it is a homestead. In rural areas we don't have rural houses. We have homesteads. I don't see a house there. I see a homestead.

Nxesi answers: We have put question marks in relation to all the pricing. What was speculated by media of R246m, we don't know where it came from. We also said let's allow for investigations to conclude. We don't know how much more money needs to be spent. We will rely on what police says needs to be reviewed or done.

Third set of questions around police ministry: What makes your finding legally binding? Did you feel its apt to make these calls about someone on who your very appointment rests?

Nhleko answers: It is not the minister of police who woke up and decided he wanted to do this report. This very same report must be subjected to discussion and scrutiny by Parliament. Then I suppose and suspect that they will adopt a position once it is fully considered.

I don't feel conflicted at all. My approach to issues of this nature... is that issues of governance do not work on basis of whether I like you or do not like you.

There are policies and law and that is what we need to stick to.

In this instance, the major preoccupation was how did these things come about? Let's deal with issues as we are and be objective in how we deal with that. If you had to ask me what my authority is, I am able to point out all the steps I took, whether you agree with them or not.

Read more on:    thulas nxesi  |  nathi nhleko  |  nkandla upgrade

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