Congress of the People is concerned that a big slice of taxpayers’ money is again being wasted on the site visit to the private residence of President Zuma in Nkandla and arranging the sitting of the committee in the provincial legislature.
We maintain that the scandalous “Nhleko” report did not warrant any ad-hoc committee. It should have been rejected out of hand. We said that the site visit to Nkandla was …a ploy to sanction further expenditure on the President’s homestead and that is exactly what is going to happen. The ANC is going to get more than it bargained for.
COPE had called on opposition parties in the committee to boycott the visit. At the end of the visit, the ANC will enthusiastically justify an additional budget for the security upgrades recommended by Nhleko.
By giving priority to the firepool and other nice to have features since 2009, Public Works put the real security upgrades on the backburner.
The Chairperson of the ad hoc committee, Cedric Frolic, and all committee members expressed their sheer shock at the shoddy and incomplete work. They simply could not believe that R246 million was spent on what they were seeing.
The big question is whether the ANC succeeded in their ploy of convincing the opposition to spend more money to remedy the visible defects? Will the ANC get much more than it bargained for?
Clearly, the call is going to go out for more money. Where is this money going to come from? Is this the final straw that collapses the case for the President to pay back a reasonable portion of the expenditure at Nkandla? Will the argument now shift to making more cash available to Nkandla as Nhleko was hoping for? Must taxpayers bear the cost of fixing the shoddy work done by un scrupulous and roguish contractors?
What will the minders of the peoples’ purse do when they get back to parliament? What will happen to the Public Protector’s report and her recommendations? Will the President regard all of this is a big joke regardless of the quarter billion rand that has evaporated into the air?
On top of all the other costs, parliament must reveal how much the visit of the ad hoc committee cost the taxpayer. It must not seek to hide this cost? We wait for the response.
We will ask this question in parliament. We are determined to know how much money was spend on the Nkandla visit.
Cope stands by the Public Protector’s report. We will not stop with our call that the President must pay back a reasonable portion of the money.
Issued by Dennis Bloem on behalf of COPE