Mathews Phosa on Nkandla: We need to know the truth

There was "a bit of a cover-up" over the security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead according to former ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa, EyeWitness News reported on Wednesday.

"I don't think anybody has tried to justify Nkandla. I think there is a bit of a cover-up and I think we need to know the truth, and the sooner we know the truth the better," Phosa told the radio news station.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi has declined to make available a task team report into why his department spent over R200-million on Zuma's private home in KwaZulu-Natal.

Nxesi said the report was classified.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Phosa said it was time for government to shape the country's future decisively and stop blaming the past.

"We are … a government, and placing the blame on the past, apartheid, race, and other external factors does not wash anymore. It is time for solutions of which we are the architects and it is time to shape our future decisively," Phosa said in a speech prepared for delivery at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation conference in Johannesburg.

"Let us begin by making sure that every rand of public money that is spent makes a tangible impact on development and upliftment of our people."

Corruption and non-service delivery were serious concerns.

'Income gap'
"If we fail to address the income gap and alleviate poverty, we will have other consequences. Ours will be a perpetually volatile society, open to flare-ups from time to time, and growing disenchantment among the voters with those they have voted into power."

Phosa said many in the ruling ANC faced charges of corruption and brought the party into disrepute in "a devastating and shocking fashion".

"It has never been ANC policy for anyone to steal public money. Anyone doing that satisfies his or her own greed at the expense of the nation, and to the lasting detriment of a party that commanded the respect of the entire globe."

The corruption scourge would lead to the decline of the ANC and ultimately render its history "meaningless".

"If we want to avoid being consigned to the dustbin of history, we must be demonstrably more decisive, more transparent and totally unforgiving in how we deal with those who steal public money, or abuse positions of trust," said Phosa. – Sapa

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