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REPORT: Police Minister never used legal advice when tabling Nkandla report

By Charl Bosch - May 11, 2016
REPORT: Police Minister never used legal advice when tabling Nkandla report

The Democratic Alliance (DA) has lashed out at Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s confirmation that he did not receive any legal advice when compiling his controversial report into the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

In March, the Constitutional Court ruled that the findings contained in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report were binding, and that the President needs to pay back a reasonable percentage of the R246-million spent on non-security upgrades including a chicken run, cattle kraal, amphitheatre, culvert and swimming pool.

Reading the court’s verdict, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng also stated that the National Assembly did “everything wrong” when it accepted Nhleko’s report, which cleared Zuma of being held responsible for the upgrades, instead of Madonsela’s, as its remedial action “is inconsistent with the Constitution”.

Speaking in a statement, DA Shadow Minister of Police, Zakhele Mbhele, said Nhleko’s admission in a parliamentary question submitted by the party, should in itself be seen as motivation to discipline then fire him.

“The Minister in his reply states that he “did not seek or obtain any legal advice during the compilation of his report into the security upgrades at the private home [Nkandla] of the President”.

“Had the Minister sought legal advice, he would have known from the very outset that his report was inconsistent with due process and established legal precedent. In doing so, he would have spared his reputation huge embarrassment and not sullied that of Parliament and the Constitution,” Mbhele said.

He stated that the Minister’s report was merely drawn up to “discredit and undermine a Chapter Nine institution in defence of Zuma”, further compounded by his support for it as being credible and legal.

“The simple fact is that Minister Nhleko tabled in Parliament a report that had a deeply flawed and irregular legal premise and was riddled with fanciful distortions,” Mbhele continued.

“As such, the DA will move that the reports submitted to Parliament by the Minister and to ad-hoc committee be rescinded on the grounds that it is borne of legal invalidity”.