Police minister ready to give Nkandla decision

2015-03-19 09:30
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko. (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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WATCH: I never took a penny - Zuma answers Malema's 'pay back the money' question

2015-03-12 09:15

President Jacob Zuma denied all wrongdoing in the Nkandla scandal when he returned to the National Assembly yesterday and restated he had no obligation to pay back the money.WATCH

Cape Town - Police Minister Nathi Nhleko is ready to say if President Jacob Zuma must pay back part of the money that went into upgrading his private estate at Nkandla.

Netwerk24's Maryna Lamprecht reported on Thursday that Nhleko has written to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete, asking when he can inform Parliament about his long-awaited decision.

Nhleko reportedly wants to make the announcement when the Assembly is in session, possibly next week.

Nkandla report

Almost exactly a year ago, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela published her report on the Nkandla project, saying Zuma and his family had benefited personally from the R246m spent on improving the private home, and that he had to pay back “a reasonable” portion of the millions.

A year later, the president still has not accepted any responsibility for the scandal or paid a cent. Instead, Zuma ordered Nhleko to decide if the president can be held accountable for what he termed security improvements at the Nkandla estate.

On the recommendation of the parliamentary ad hoc-committee on Nkandla, in December Mbete wrote to Nhleko to order him to send a team of security experts to Nkandla to determine if Zuma’s homes at Nkandla are safe or not.

SIU report

The committee’s recommendation followed the report by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which suggested the Nkandla estate is still not safe despite all the millions spent; and which recommended an urgent safety audit be done at the premises.

Nhleko wants to report on both these issues at the same time to Parliament.

Since Madonsela issued her report a year ago, 12 Public Works employees have had disciplinary proceedings started against them and the SUI has instituted a claim of R155m against Minenhle Makhanya, Zuma’s personal architect.

No minister or director-general has been disciplined and the 12 officials and Makhanya now look set to become the only scapegoats in the scandal.

Zuma must pay - Turok

ANC veteran Ben Turok on Wednesday said it is clear Zuma is not willing to pay back any money. He said the police minister was caught between a rock and hard place, because if he says Zuma has to pay, Zuma could fire him.

Turok said after all the years wasted, the only way out was for Cabinet to handle the matter.

“You cannot ask one minister as an individual to act [against Zuma]. What if Cabinet does not agree [with the decision]? Cabinet must decide as a unit to act decisively. We cannot continue skirting around this very important issue.”

Turok was vehement in his criticism of the millions spent on the president’s home as well as the fallout. “Just think what it cost the country in financial terms, if you consider the costs of manpower, inquiries, each phone call made, the investigations, the Parliament’s time. Goodness me! It is millions upon millions. Legal fees and what else. For what?”

Turok said the only answer was for Zuma to pay back part of the costs.

Read more on:    anc  |  jacob zuma  |  nathi nhleko  |  ben turok  |  cape town  |  parliament 2015  |  politics  |  nkandla upgrade

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