Nkandla ruling going to court


Lawyers representing the Democratic Alliance (DA) have reportedly submitted court letters to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko in response to the latter clearing President Jacob Zuma of being held accountable for the R246-million security upgrades at Nkandla.

According to CityPress, lawyer Elzanne Jonker stated that Nhleko’s findings were “unconstitutional and invalid” and that it failed to take in any of the recommendations outlined in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s original report.

“The report is biased in the sense that a member of Cabinet may not recommend or seek to substitute his own conclusions for a determination made by the Public Protector where her judgment has been bona fide expressed and where she has honestly and duly applied herself to a question which is within her power to determine,” the paper quoted Jonker’s statement as saying.

Speaking in an interview with eNCA on Monday evening, Madonsela, who admitted over the weekend that she showed lenience towards Zuma when tabling her Secure in Comfort report, said that the matter could be heading to the court unless the President settles it himself.

“We are now at the level of oversight, where the role players become the Public Protector, the President, Parliament and ultimately the courts,” Madonsela told the broadcaster.

“The best authority to take this matter to court would be the President. To just get the court to say 'What really should he do now?' and secondly, 'What should be the powers of the Public Protector?”.

In tabling his report last week, Nhleko indicated that Zuma could not be expected to pay back a portion of the money spent as stipulated in Madonsela’s report, as the additions of a swimming pool, referred to as a fire pool, chicken coop, cattle kraal and private cinema were essential security requirements.