SACP criticises Madonsela over Nkandla report
The South African Communist Party (SACP) says it is "extremely concerned" at the manner in which Public Protector Thuli Madonsela handled her investigation into upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's private residence at Nkandla.
This had compromised certain fundamental principles of justice, fairness, and therefore the credibility of the investigation, it said in a statement on Thursday, a day after Madonsela released her report on the matter.
"The use of the media in particular to leak the earlier report, and the habit of making comments on an incomplete process, have all negatively affected and unnecessarily cast aspersions on the person of President Jacob Zuma."
The SACP also questioned the presence of the media at the release of the report in Pretoria on Wednesday, as well as the timing of the release.
"The media was 'locked up' in a board room ... for about three hours to go through the final report prior to its release via a press conference, while the affected persons were never given such adequate opportunity.
"The public protector does not report to the media, but to Parliament, and therefore her media-driven strategy is seriously flawed and shows a complete misunderstanding of the office of the public protector."
It called for "abuses of power and the leaks" from Madonsela's office to be investigated and addressed decisively.
'Cannot be ignored'
On the timing of the release, it said this could not be ignored.
"The release of the report, some seven weeks before the elections, is a matter of serious concern to us."
The SACP said crucial observations in the report included that the president had never requested security valuations and any upgrades by the state at his Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal. Also, Zuma had never misled Parliament.
"The president never misled the Parliament when he said that the state never built his and any of his family members any house, and that his family was responsible for payment of all the houses they built for themselves at his residence," it said.
In her report on Wednesday, Madonsela found that Zuma had "unduly benefited from the enormous capital investment" in the Nkandla upgrades. These had totalled R246-million.