Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko’s determination that President Zuma is not liable for any of the lavish upgrades to his private residence at Nkandla is an insult to the South African people.
The DA will not allow the President to get away with the theft of public funds. We have, therefore, referred the matter to our legal team for the consideration of the rationale of Minister Nhleko’s determination, and our constitutional and legal remedies.
With regard to the consideration of the report by the Nkandla Ad Hoc Committee scheduled to be resurrected early next week, we will await the terms of reference before making a decision on how to proceed.
The DA will vociferously fight for the terms of reference to include all relevant personnel who consulted with Minister Nhleko to come to this determination and we will not be forced to accept narrow terms of reference in a last-ditch attempt to make us complicit in this cover-up.
The DA strongly condemns the rejection of the findings made by Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela. In her report entitled “Secure in Comfort”, released in March last year, Adv Madonsela found that that the President must repay a fair portion back for unduly benefiting from this project.
Just last year (24 October 2014) the Western Cape High Court ruled that the Public Protector’s findings cannot be summarily ignored. The President, and the due to be re-established Ad Hoc Committee, cannot ignore the remedial action in the Public Protector’s report in light of this judgment.
The DA previously determined that the President is liable for at least an amount of R52.9 million for the non-security upgrades to his private home in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition to this amount, the President further remains liable for the tax on the fringe benefit received from the upgrades.
But the Minister’s report demonstrates that President Zuma’s henchmen will do anything to shield the President from his responsibility.
In his reply to the Presidency Budget Debate yesterday, President Zuma made light of the fact that the Opposition has been unrelenting in demanding he repay a fair portion of the undue benefit he received.
Furthermore, this report was completed on the 25 March 2015 but the Minister chose to hold onto it and release it after the President’s Budget Vote. This is a cynical manipulation of due process by not affording Parliament the opportunity to thoroughly interrogate the report.
By making a mockery of the process of parliamentary oversight and executive accountability, the President is sending a clear message that corruption does not matter and that he should be above the law.
The DA believes in a society that values freedom, fairness and opportunity where no one, including the President, can escape responsibility for their actions. We will therefore continue to fight to see that the President Zuma pays what is owed.
Issued by Mmusi Maimane on behalf of DA, Mmusi Maimane is Federal and Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance