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President Jacob Zuma’s Imbongis are in full voice. After yesterday’s comments by Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi making the outrageous claim that “neo liberal” policies and the private sector were to blame for overspending on Zuma’s Nkandla homestead, now comes the ANC’s Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga accusing the whistleblower of “misleading the nation”. What the latest Imbongi omits to mention is that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela could quite easily have taken the easier, softer route favoured by ANC cadres. Instead, she exhibited the backbone of 100 ANC Parliamentarians, speaking out for the truth Zuma’s acolytes are doing their utmost to bury. It is the Thuli Madonsela’s who keep South Africans everywhere proud of their nation. Not the Motshekga’s. – Alec Hogg
By Thomas Hartleb, News24
Johannesburg – Public Protector Thuli Madonsela misled South Africa about President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home, Parliament’s ad hoc committee on the matter heard on Thursday.
“We should not, and cannot, apologise when we say the report of the public protector is misleading and has misled the nation,” ANC Chief Whip Mathole Motshekga told the committee in Parliament.
Several opposition parties, including the ACDP and IFP, had called for Madonsela to appear so she could be questioned on her findings.
Madonsela said in her report, released in March 2014, that Zuma should pay back a portion of the R246m spent on upgrades to his Nkandla homestead that were not related to security. These features included an “amphitheatre”, cattle kraal, and swimming pool.
Motshekga said it was clear, following the committee’s visit to Nkandla on July 22, that there was no amphitheatre. There were merely “steps, those terraces”.
Regarding the swimming pool, he said no one could say its intended purpose – apparently to extinguish fires – was “illogical or irrational”. The same applied to the cattle kraal.
“No one among us can say it was irrational or illogical to remove the kraal to another part,” he said.
He agreed with Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko’s finding that the kraal in its original location interfered with security measures.
The committee had, however, agreed that spending R1m on a kraal was “way above what is reasonable”. Motshekga said he had built himself one for R40 000.
“We are dealing with the people who built the kraal, not the person for whom the kraal was built. He [Zuma]… did not budget for that.”
‘It’s a political game’
Agang SA parliamentary leader Andries Tlouamma said it seemed the ruling party was hell-bent on ensuring Zuma survived the scandal.
“It’s a political game to ensure that President Zuma is not held accountable. The Public Protector, she needs to come here and assist the process.”
Motshekga said Madonsela had already appeared in Parliament and had been given the opportunity to have her say.
“There is no other value she can add.”
Both he and fellow ANC MP Dennis Gamede called for the final report to be prepared and the matter to be finalised.
“Let us move on. We cannot be talking one thing all the time,” Gamede said.
IFP MP Narend Singh’s proposal to call Madonsela was voted down with four MPs in favour and seven against.
A proposal by FF Plus MP Corné Mulder to call other players in the Nkandla saga – including former public works minister Geoff Doidge, Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya, Nkandla project manager Jean Rindel, the quantity surveyor, and the two people who drafted the Special Investigation Unit’s report on Nkandla – was also voted down by the same margin.
Committee chairperson Cedric Frolick adjourned the committee until Tuesday, when it would consider a draft report on the matter.
In his report, released on May 28, Nhleko found Zuma did not have to pay for any of the upgrades to his homestead, saying they were all necessary for his security.
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