Madonsela releases provisional Nkandla report to security cluster

Public protector Thuli Madonsela. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Public protector Thuli Madonsela. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has released her provisional report on the upgrade to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, her office said on Friday.

"The report has, for now, been released to organs of state within the security cluster for them to make comments on security concerns they might have," it said in a statement.

"Organs of state within the cluster made a special request to have access to the report before it is shared with the rest of the parties, with a view to commenting on whether or not it compromises the security of the president."

The return date for comments was November 6.

"The rest of the parties, including respondents and complainants, will then get the report as soon as possible thereafter," Madonsela's office said.

"However, complainants and some of the respondents will only be invited to view the report at the Public Protector's offices, in the presence of members of the investigation team due to security reasons. This will either take place in Pretoria or Cape Town."

Her office reiterated that the provisional report was confidential.

"She [Madonsela] will only be in a position to release the report to the public after having received comments from all parties, considered them and, to an extent possible, integrated them into the report."

Madonsela previously expressed uncertainty about to whom she should hand the provisional report.

On October 23, she questioned the government's delay in changing the law determining to whom she should hand reports concerning the presidency.

At a Black Management Forum conference at the time, she said she had advised the government about the problem three years ago and asked it to change the law.

She said when it came to investigating members of the executive, the report was normally given to the president, but now it was tricky as the report was about him.

The Democratic Alliance and ANC disagreed on Wednesday about whether the provisional report should be submitted to Parliament.

"Both the president and the Public Protector are appointed by, and are accountable to Parliament in terms of the Constitution," the office of the ANC Chief Whip said in a statement.

The DA was concerned that this could lead to the report being viewed only by a closed committee.

Last year, the DA asked Madonsela to investigate whether Zuma's family improperly benefited from the upgrade to his home.

Shortly before this, Zuma told Parliament that the government was paying to upgrade the security at his home, but that he had taken out a bond to pay for the rest of the upgrade.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi released the findings of the Nkandla task team in January. It 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.
– Sapa

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