Charge Zuma over Nkandla: Malema


President Jacob Zuma should face criminal prosecution for corruption over the misspending of state funds at Nkandla, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema argued on Thursday.

"The president is involved in the looting of money of our people," Malema said in a long, passionate intervention to Parliament's ad hoc committee which is considering the findings of three investigations into the controversy.

"The president must take full responsibility because he willingly took part in this corruption and as result he must be charged."

Malema made the point after opposition parties submitted that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal carried more weight than the other two, compiled by the Special Investigating Unit and a ministerial task team.

Since her office is a chapter nine institution, she was the only independent authority who probed the R246 million project. The others report to the executive.

This met with heated opposition from the African National Congress, who said all three reports should be considered jointly with a focus on commonalties between their findings.

After an hour-long debate on this point, Malema reluctantly conceded on behalf of the opposition ranks but as a matter of process, not principle, saying "let's consider them all".

The Democratic Alliance argued the committee was duty-bound to ensure Zuma heeded Madonsela's recommendations -- that Zuma reimburse the state for luxuries added to his home that had nothing to do with improving security measures.

The party's James Selfe then called for the committee to obtain Zuma's replies to questions from Madonsela and the SIU, which he said both anti-graft bodies battled to obtain from a recalcitrant president.

He said this was necessary because the question at the heart of all investigations, and the committee's considerations, was "the extent of the knowledge of the president of South Africa".

Zuma's office this week declined to comment on a media report that he delayed the finalisation of the SIU's probe and only responded to the unit's questions on Nkandla after he was put on terms.


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