Top SANDF official denies Nkandla-related report

2014-11-20 17:17
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

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Johannesburg – Lieutenant General Vejay Ramlakan on Thursday criticised a Beeld newspaper report which stated that he might go on early retirement following an SANDF probe into President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home.

"Beeld's reporting in this regard is an example of a tendency of unethical journalism to beef up stories with irrelevant content," he said in a statement.

He said discussions with SA National Defence Force (SANDF) head General Solly Shoke about his future were part of "normal career management" and had nothing to do with the investigation into Nkandla.

The daily reported that Ramlakan went ahead with his part of the project without being delegated to do so.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela had questioned why certain facilities, such as the military clinic, helicopter landing pad, and military quarters were within the perimeter of the home, it reported.

Written questions to Ramlakan's office this week were apparently not answered and his staff said he was on stress leave.

Ramlakan said both the Special Investigating Unit and Ministerial Task Team had found that the defence department had acted correctly in the Nkandla project.

He said Madonsela had been incorrect in her findings and that the military facilities were next to Zuma's property, not inside it.

"Lieutenant General Ramlakan is said to have failed to comply with official guidelines. All existing department of defence guidelines in this regard were complied with to the letter and spirit," he said.

Beeld reported that defence spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini said it had not been possible for the SANDF to investigate the Nkandla issue properly, partly because Ramlakan had refused to testify.

Ramlakan said this was a "blue lie".

"Lieutenant General Ramlakan has given a full statement before the BOI [Board of Inquiry] and has given extensive evidence. Although there was a period of absence, he has been available to the BOI ever since," he said.

Ramlakan added that he was not on so-called stress leave and that he had not said this to his staff.

Read more on:    sandf  |  jacob zuma  |  johannesburg  |  nkandla upgrade  |  media

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