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Zuma responds to Madonsela’s letter

Zuma responds to Madonsela’s letter

President Jacob Zuma has responded to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s letter, saying that he cannot and should not give a blanket acceptance that he didn’t address her findings into the R246-million upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead.

On August 24, Madonsela submitted a seven page letter to Zuma, expressing her concern that he had not responded to any of her findings after tabling his response to her Nkandla report, dubbed Secure in Comfort, to Parliament on August 15th. In the report, Madonsela found that Zuma and his family had unlawfully benefitted from the upgrades which included, amongst others, a swimming pool, chicken run, kraal and private theatre.

In a letter submitted to Madonsela on Thursday, Zuma said that that he disagrees with her findings, before informing her that she is not a real judge.

“The role of the Public Protector is akin to that of an Ombud and quite distinct from that of a judge. Similarly, reports emanating from a Public Protector process are not judgements to be followed under pain of a contempt order, but rather useful tools in assisting democracy in a co-operative manner, sometimes rather forcefully,” Zuma wrote.

He also added that leaving the final decision to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko, as to whether he should pay back a portion of the money spend on non-security upgrades, contradicted her findings of such a process being deemed illegal.

“Regarding whether or not I am liable for any repayments, I should not be a judge in my own case unless and to the degree I am institutionally compelled.

“I consider the minister of police to be the appropriate functionary for the purpose and reasons tendered in my report to the National Assembly.”

Yesterday, Zuma submitted the final report of the Special Investigation Unit’s (SIU) into Nkandla to Parliament.


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