Nkandla reprimand letters slammed by opposition

BY CHARL BOSCH - APRIL 25, 2016

Opposition parties have described President Jacob Zuma’s letters of reprimand to ministers implicated in the Nkandla saga, as a joke that constitutes anything but a dressing-down.

In a statement on Friday, the Presidency announced that notices had been send to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, former Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, and former Deputy Public Works Minister turned South Africa’s High Commissioner in Sri Lanka Geof Doidge, in response to last month’s ruling by the Constitutional Court that Zuma take action against individuals involved in the R246-million security upgrades at his private home.

“An Inter-Departmental Committee has been established by the Presidency to update the 2003 Cabinet Policy and to draft clear standards on the security measures that can be taken, the reasonable cost that can be incurred by the state and the conditions subject to which current and former Presidents and Deputy Presidents would qualify for such measures,” Presidency spokesperson Bongani Majola said.

Rejecting the Presidency’s announcement, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said the letters are an indication that Zuma refuses to accept that he had done anything wrong.

“The letters do not specifically reprimand the Ministers for their involvement in this unacceptable abuse of public funds, and for their role over the course of several years in trying to hide facts and shield the President from accountability,” Maimane said in a statement.

“A reprimand should be a severe rebuke, and should be specific. No South African will consider these letters as anything close to the reprimand that the Public Protector and the Constitutional Court had in mind. This is another insult to the public”.

Speaking in an interview with Eyewitness News, Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the letters were a mere contradiction and shows that Zuma no longer has the capability to reprimand ministers, while United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa labelled it as “utter nonsense”