Justice minister not aware of Nkandla legal action
Newly appointed Justice Minister Michael Masutha is unaware of any legal action against the public protector in connection with her report on Nkandla, the City Press reported on Sunday.
“I’ve heard the story [of a legal challenge to the Nkandla report] but I’m not aware of litigation pending against the public protector on this matter,” he told the newspaper. Masuthu was reported as saying he believed that if Parliament “resuscitate[d]” the matter, this setting was the suitable space in which to deal with the report.
“I think that is the appropriate forum to decide on the matter.”
In the last sitting of Parliament before the elections in May, it was voted that an ad hoc parliamentary committee to deal with the report be handled by the incoming Parliament.
Last month, the previous security cluster ministers said they would seek a judicial review of the Nkandla report as they considered some of the findings and recommendations as “irrational, contradictory and ... informed by material errors of law.”
The City Press reported that no court papers had been filed by the weekend.
Masuthu told the newspaper that he deemed public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report as “good ... in many respects. There are many issues that are a bit puzzling for me that I prefer not to deal with outside parliamentary process.”
Madonsela told the City Press that if a legal challenge was raised again, she would like to meet with Masuthu, “to see if there is a way I could assist the security cluster ministers with an explanation that could help avoid going to court at this stage. However, if the ministers still want to go to court, I am fine with that. I am certain I will win the case,” she said.
Madonsela’s report found that President Jacob Zuma and his family unduly benefited from R246-million security upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead. These included a swimming pool, a cattle kraal, and an amphitheatre. She recommended, among other things, that he repay a portion of the money. – Sapa