Parliament says no to Nkandla censoring

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 23, 2015

Parliament has dismissed speculation that Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's commissioned investigation into the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home would be censored.

“Presiding officers note the repeated, unfounded assertions where, as they manage the business of Parliament, they are often accused of either protecting the president or acting in a biased, partisan manner,” read a statement.

“In examining these issues objectively, it is quite clear that they are without basis and are not supported by fact”.

The announcement comes after a weekend article in CityPress claimed that National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, would present a “sanitised” version of the Minister’s findings with Zuma’s security being given as the main reason.

In a letter to Mbete, United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader, Bantu Holomisa, reportedly accused her of trying to have opposition parties agree on the presenting of the clean report, and that her claiming “sensitive matters” around Zuma’s security as the main reason, was peculiar as she alleges to have never seen the report before.

“The purpose of the meeting with leaders was to secure that we be briefed by the minister of police on the contents of the Nkandla non-security upgrade report, and in turn for us to agree to clean it by removing what you referred to as sensitive areas, all this to be done before the same [report] is presented to the National Assembly.

“This advice from you leaves me with scepticism, worse when you also indicated you would not like the media to be part of this process,” he wrote.

Speaking to paper about his letter, Holomisa said that Mbete “was trying to compromise us” and that the report should be tabled before The House.

Similarly Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen, told the paper that while he didn’t get the impression of Mbete wanting to sanitise the findings, a raw report by Nhleko would not help either.

“I think what she was looking for was a mechanism where she could have the report tabled and processed. We are going to have a fight about what is sensitive and what is not and when is the meeting closed and not.

“Where there are genuine areas where the president’s security could be compromised, obviously there would be some sensitivity around that,” he said.

No date has yet been given as to when the report would be released.