Madonsela admits to showing compassion when tabling report

BY CHARL BOSCH - JUNE 1, 2015

Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, has indicated that she showed lenience towards President Jacob Zuma when compiling her findings into the R246-million security upgrades at his private Nkandla home, saying she should have used the words “benefited improperly and unlawfully” rather than “benefitted unduly”.

“I made that decision that he benefited unduly. In fact, that was a softer wording. I should have said he benefited improperly and unlawfully. That’s the wording already in the Public Protector Act and the Executive Members’ Ethics Act. I can’t change that and it stands as it stands,” she told CityPress in an interview.

Her comments comes after Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, last week found that Zuma could not be held liable to pay back a portion of the amount spent as per Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report, and that the additions of a swimming pool, chicken run, cattle kraal and private cinema were essential to his security.

In a statement shortly after Nhleko’s findings, Madonsela stated that the Minister’s report was “riddled with “faults and inaccuracies” and that it report stands in direct contradiction with hers. She however added that taking the matter further would not be in the best interest of the country.

“The Constitution gives me the power to investigate, to report and take appropriate remedial action. I have authority to take whatever action I can deem fit and that includes me going to court and asking for the court to force them to do something.

“But if I go to court, I become me as a crusader without a sword and asking the courts to use their sword to sort out this thing. The president must pay. I have already said that,” she remarked.