Judge refuses appeal to bar media from Nkandla disciplinary hearings

2016-08-18 21:03
Zuma's Nkandla property (File,City Press)

Zuma's Nkandla property (File,City Press)

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Durban - The media has been granted access to the disciplinary hearings of 12 Department of Public Works officials accused of acting unlawfully in their roles in the improvement of President Jacob Zuma's R246m Nkandla homestead.

This after an application for leave to appeal was dismissed by Judge Piet Koen on Wednesday.

Koen held that there was no reasonable possibility that an appeal court would depart from his original judgement, handed down in June.

Media24, Times Media Group and the M&G will have access to the hearings.

In his original order, he said the public nature of the Nkandla upgrades demanded that the public be given the full facts in order to make informed choices, including whether or not the disciplinary hearings instigated against the employees are properly founded.

The employees are not simply ordinary employees in private context, possibly wasting the funds of the private employer, but state employees, said Koen.

They are like advocates employed by the prosecuting authority or magistrates whose salaries are paid by the taxpayer. Ultimately they are accountable to the taxpayer and they must satisfy that they have not misappropriated funds, Koen had held.

The twelve can file an application to the Judge President of the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal. They have a month to do so.

Read more on:    durban  |  nkandla upgrade  |  media

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