Madonsela to announce Nkandla report release date

Public protector Thuli Madonsela will announce the release date of her final report on the more than R206-million worth of upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private homestead at Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, next month, her office said on Friday.

On Thursday, Madonsela agreed to extend the deadline for response at the request of one of the parties, spokesperson Kgalalelo Masibi said in a statement.

"The rest of the parties are requested to stick to the initial return dates in order to avoid further delays."

The report release date was expected to be announced around February 9.

Affected parties were initially given deadlines of January 24 and 28 to respond to Madonsela's preliminary report.

Madonsela urged the public to patiently await the release of her final report.

"It is only fair that affected and implicated parties should be given an opportunity to address me on my provisional findings before the report is made available to the public," she said.

Influencing elections
In December, Madonsela said she hoped to release the report by the end of 2013.

At the time, she dismissed claims that she planned to release her report in March with the aim of influencing the 2014 general elections.

Earlier this month, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said if Madonsela released the report close to the elections it would indicate an intention to "muddy the waters in the election campaign".

"If [she] sits on the report and releases it close to the elections, we will actually assume that it is intended to tilt the balance of forces in the elections. We stand by that," he said.

Zuma misled Parliament 
The Mail & Guardian reported in November that Madonsela found in her preliminary report that Zuma had misled Parliament and benefited substantially from the upgrade to his homestead.

An inter-ministerial task team report on the Nkandla expenditure was released in December, after it was declassified, confirming that a total of R206 420 644 was spent on the upgrade.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, who initially classified the report, said at its release that allegations that Zuma used state resources to build and upgrade the residence were unfounded. – Sapa

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