Nkandla findings rejected


Opposition parties have lashed out at Police Minister, Nathi Nhleko, following his announcement that President Jacob Zuma could not be held liable for the security upgrades at his private Nkandla home.

Tabling his 50-page statement yesterday, Nhleko said that the additions of a swimming pool, cattle kraal, private cinema and chicken run were essential to Zuma’s safety, and that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report had put the president’s security at risk.

“This is an unprecedented exposure of a president’s security details and it will need security practitioners to analyse the extent to which the report contributes to threats around the president and how the threats should be mitigated,” Nhleko said.

Speaking in statement shortly after the minister’s announcement, Democratic Alliance (DA) Leader Mmusi Maimane described the findings as “an insult to the South African people” and that the report “demonstrates that President Zuma’s henchmen will do anything to shield the President from his responsibility.

“This report was completed on the 25 March 2015 but the Minister chose to hold onto it and release it after the President’s Budget Vote. This is a cynical manipulation of due process by not affording Parliament the opportunity to thoroughly interrogate the report,” Maimane said.

“By making a mockery of the process of parliamentary oversight and executive accountability, the President is sending a clear message that corruption does not matter and that he should be above the law.”

He also took a swipe at Nhleko’s apparent disregard for Madonsela’s report, which found that Zuma must pay back a portion of the R246-million spend on the upgrades, adding that his rational for the findings needs to be questioned.

Responding to the report, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) National Spokesperson, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, stated that the findings were predictable as Nhleko “could never be expected to tell his boss to pay for corruption”.

He also accused the minister of “undermining the public’s intelligence” and that the eventual outcome was based on “cheap expert explanations, unreliable Wikipedia sources and low quality video bioskops”, the latter referring to video clip aiming to show the validity of the swimming pool as a fire pool.

“The EFF does not buy all the stories, bioskops and cultural idioms used to cover up the truth. We warned long ago that the delay in publishing the cost of non-security features was because cabinet was cooking the report to try and protect the corruption of Jacob Zuma,” Ndlozi said.

“The Public Protector said Jacob Zuma must pay back the money and for as long as this is not happening, the EFF will use every opportunity in Parliament to demand that Zuma must Pay Back the Money”.