Nxesi: DA's Nkandla court bid is about scoring points

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi. (Gallo)

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi. (Gallo)

A Democratic Alliance court bid for a report on the upgrade of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead is about scoring political points, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Tuesday.

"I have said that on matters of the president's security, I will not play politics," he said in a statement.

DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko approached the high court in Cape Town on Monday for an order overturning Nxesi's decision to classify the report detailing the over R200-million security upgrade to Zuma's private KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

The report was currently before Parliament's joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI).

Nxesi said the proof that the DA had a political agenda was it citing Zuma as the third respondent in the matter. This was despite Mazibuko conceding that she did not seek any relief from Zuma.

"The truth is that the DA is so obsessed with the president to such an extent they cannot differentiate between their own narrow political interest and the public interest," he said.

He said the only conclusion to be drawn was that the DA had an eye on the 2014 elections.

'Petty political battles'
Nxesi said the report was presented to the JSCI – a multiparty committee, which includes representatives of opposition parties including the DA. The DA was also aware that public protector Thuli Madonsela would be releasing her report into the upgrade soon, he said.

"Perhaps the DA fears that once her report is tabled, the opportunity will disappear for publicity stunts such as this latest approach to the courts."

Nxesi said Mazibuko and the DA should stop abusing the courts to try and "win petty political battles".

"That has nothing to [do] with the public interest.
The electorate cannot be fooled by a minority party that does not have their interests at heart."

He released the findings of the Nkandla task team in January, which found irregularities in the procurement process for the upgrade. The team recommended further investigation by authorities such as the Special Investigating Unit and auditor general.

"The task team said that should they [the authorities] find unlawful wrong-doing, then the law enforcement agencies must ensure that the culprits face the full might of the law." – Sapa