Mac Maharaj: Zuma has responded to all Nkandla reports
President Jacob Zuma included recommendations that Cabinet review its policy on presidential security and clearly define parameters for spending.
President Jacob Zuma has responded to all reports regarding the security upgrades at his Nkandla private home, the presidency said on Saturday.
“The president regards all the investigations and reports into the upgrades as important,” said spokesperson Mac Maharaj.
“He has responded to the National Assembly taking all the reports into account.”
Public protector Thuli Madonsela’s office said on Friday that Zuma had not yet responded to her report on the R246-million security upgrade at his Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
“The document that is being disseminated does not respond to the public protector’s report and, in fact, in the document it says this is not a comment on the public protector’s report,” spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said in an e-mail to news agency Sapa at the time.
“That means a document that comments on the public protector’s report or indicates action taken or to be taken to implement remedial action in compliance with Section 3(5) of the Executive Members Ethics Act must still be submitted to Parliament by the president.”
But Maharaj said Zuma was taking all reports into account.
“The presidency has noted statements attributed to the office of the public protector stating that President Jacob Zuma had not responded to the public protector’s report on the Nkandla security upgrades.”
He said Zuma’s response to the National Assembly took the joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) report, the public protector’s report, titled Secure in Comfort, and the report by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) into account.
Zuma submitted a response on the upgrades to his private home to Speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete on Thursday.
In the response, Zuma requested ministers in the security cluster and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi to report to Parliament on their “clearly defined roles and responsibilities” when dealing with the president, the deputy president and their predecessors’ security when implementing Cabinet policy.
He said Nxesi should urgently report to Cabinet on the review of protocols and procedures regarding procurement, expenditure and oversight applicable.
Lastly, Zuma said Cabinet should review the 2003 policy on the security of the president, deputy president and their predecessors with a view to setting parameters for implementation.
Madonsela found earlier this year that Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the R246-million upgrades and recommended that he pay back some of the money.
Zuma declined to respond to Madonsela’s report in full within the required fortnight and said he would wait instead for the SIU’s findings on the upgrades. – Sapa.