Zuma: ‘I complied with Public Protector’s report’

2015-11-17 11:59
A photo of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla compound. (Cornél van Heerden, Beeld

A photo of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla compound. (Cornél van Heerden, Beeld

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“As president I have complied with the Public Protector’s report.” 

So said President Jacob Zuma in an affidavit that he submitted to the Constitutional Court yesterday for the Democratic Alliance’s Nkandla lawsuit. 

In that case, to be heard in February next year, the DA and Economic Freedom Fighters were demanding that Zuma should refund “a reasonable percentage” of the cost of nonsecurity upgrades at Nkandla, as specified by the Public Protector. 

However, in his statement to the country’s highest court, Zuma claimed he had already implemented the remedial action contained in Thuli Madonsela’s report, Secure in Comfort. 

“I have indicated that I have at all times been committed to making a reasonable contribution to any upgrades which are found not to be security-related and which will benefit my estate unduly. 

“This, and nothing more, is precisely what the report requires.” 

In her report, Madonsela said the president should, with the guidance of the national treasury and the South African Police Service, calculate the cost of those renovations at his Nkandla homestead that weren’t security-related. These include the visitors’ centre, the amphitheatre, the cattle kraal and chicken runs, as well as the swimming pool. He should then pay back “a reasonable percentage” of the cost. 

But Zuma claimed that there was “no question of quantum for me to refer to treasury” seeing as Police Minister Nathi Nhleko decided that those measures were indeed safety measures. 

“I have complied and remain committed to complying with the Public Protector report. 

“The fact that the EFF does not like the outcome of the process does not entitle them to challenge the process itself.” 

Zuma denied that: 

» He showed disdain for the Public Protector; 
» He ever tried to intimidate the Public Protector; and 
» He acted irrationally in the process. 

“I specifically deny that the aim of the task team or any other investigation was to exonerate and protect me and to shift the full blame for the Nkandla debacle to others.” 

The president said it would be highly inappropriate for the courts to decide the Nkandla case because the DA and EFF’s business was politics. 

Therefore he suggested that – should the court set aside the police minister’s report – the matter could be referred to the Auditor-General and an “apex treasury official” to determine the cost of the improvements that did not relate to safety. 

“I make this proposal in recognition of the politically charged nature of this matter, as further evidence of my commitment to the implementation of the Public Protector’s report, and with due regard to my responsibility as president to promote the unity of the nation and that which will advance the republic.”

Read more on:    public protector  |  da  |  anc  |  jacob zuma  |  nkandla

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