Madonsela: “Nkandla going to Supreme Court”

BY CHARL BOSCH - AUGUST 7, 2015

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has hit out Parliament’s ad-hoc committee for dismissing her Secure Comfort report regarding the R246-million security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla homestead.

On Thursday evening, the committee, headed by House Chairperson Cedrick Frolick, announced that it formally adopted Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s findings, which cleared Zuma of paying back a portion of the money as recommended in Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report.

In a statement, Parliamentary spokesperson Temba Gubula said Madonsela had over exaggerated the “scope, scale and cost of the project” and that the country had been misled about the opulence Zuma was supposedly living in.

“It’s not within Parliament's rights to make that decision in terms of the separation of powers and in terms of the Executive Members' Ethics Act. It’s for the executive to make that decision,” Madonsela told the SABC.

“The executive can't make that decision based on the Minister of Police's report. It has to make that decision based on the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa and the Constitution gives administrative scrutiny of acts of the executive to the Public Protector”.

She added that the matter will be further addressed in the Supreme Court of Appeal in September, where more clarity will also be provided on her powers.

“The Public Protector has authority to investigate, report-on and take remedial action in respect of anyone who is a public functionary, including the President. And only a court of law can then review the decision.

“Functionaries within the state, who are affected by that decision, have to engage with the Public Protector before deciding what to do,” she concluded.