The adoption of the report by the ad hoc committee on Nkandla is a travesty of parliamentary oversight, says DA parliamentary leader Mmusi Maimane.
Speaking during debate on the report in the National Assembly today, he told MPs that President Jacob Zuma had forsaken his constitutional duty “and the ANC report has rubber-stamped his sins”.
Maimane repeated his party’s call on the president to account for the R246 million spent on upgrades to his Nkandla residence, failing which the Democratic Alliance would seek his removal from office.
He said the African National Congress members of the committee had showed no desire to establish the truth of what happened at Nkandla, and had remained “blindly loyal” to their leader.
“It was in the context of this clear desire to exonerate the president and allow him to dodge accountability that the opposition members withdrew from the proceedings.”
Maimane said the “condescending and dismissive way” in which Zuma had dealt with queries on Nkandla was unbecoming of his office.
“The president has been party to a deception of the grandest scale. Public money was stolen at Nkandla, and now the president cowers in shame, hiding behind ANC numbers in Parliament.”
The money had been destined for service projects.
“Most abhorrently, it was money stolen from the poor of South Africa, who struggle every day to get ahead. This is nothing short of an impeachable offence. President Zuma must account. It is not our request – it is his constitutional imperative.
“Should the president fail to heed this call, we will be left with no choice but to move for his removal from office,” Maimane told the House.
“He must lead by example. He must either comply with the Public Protector, or we must move to have him impeached. I call on you to protect the poor of this country, and hold President Zuma to account,” he said.