If history is any guide, the public protector report into spending on Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead will be public long before November is out.
If history is any guide, the eagerly-awaited, long-delayed public protector report into public spending on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead will be public long before November is out. But when it will officially be public, and exactly who will be responsible for considering its findings, is a different question.
Public protector Thuli Madonsela's office this week confirmed the draft version of the report would shortly be delivered to affected parties. Although she may not publicly disclose the contents of such drafts, high-profile reports have, on several previous occasions, been leaked shortly after copies were sent to complainants and affected government departments.
December 2009: The Mail & Guardian breaks the news that a massive upgrade is taking place at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.
2012: The public protector receives at least two complaints relating to Nkandla, one from the Democratic Alliance. By October, her office confirms it has started a preliminary investigation.
January: The department of public works releases abbreviated findings of its own probe into Nkandla, which notes many failures by the department, but effectively exonerates Zuma. Madonsela promises to release her report by no later than the end of March.
April: Madonsela says the Nkandla report is 90% complete, with fieldwork essentially done and final pieces of requested information expected within weeks.
July and August: The Nkandla report is 99% complete, according to Madonsela - who visits the Nkandla homestead after Zuma accedes to her inspection request. Several ministers and government functionaries meet Madonsela and others at her office. Some interpret it as pressure on the protector to drop the probe entirely.
September: Madonsela says at least one affected party has failed to submit requested information, but will not confirm that that party is Zuma.
October 2: Her office confirms that Madonsela has received outstanding information from Zuma, allowing the report to be completed.
October 15: Madonsela and members of Parliament's justice portfolio committee get into a heated debate about her office's mandate and funding during an annual report briefing. Madonsela notes that such concerns seem to have arisen only in 2012.
October 21: Madonsela says the Nkandla report is just about finished, but that it is not yet clear to whom the report should be submitted.
October 30: ANC chief whip Stone Sizani castigates Madonsela, saying she should submit the Nkandla report to Parliament and should have approached Parliament if there was any uncertainty about where it should go. Madonsela had unfairly harmed Zuma's dignity through her conduct, Sizani charges.
October 31: Madonsela hits back, saying Sizani has his facts wrong, and characterising his statement as "unfortunate".