National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) called for the resignation of all security cluster ministers who, it said on Thursday, misled the public on the Nkandla scandal and defended President Jacob Zuma.
The union also reiterated its call for Zuma to resign for allowing the spending of R246-million on security upgrades at his homestead in Nkandla.
Public protector Thuli Madonsela found in her report released in March that Zuma unduly benefited from non-security upgrades, which included the swimming pool, the cattle kraal, amphitheatre, chicken run and the pavement. She recommended that Zuma pays a portion of the money spent on the upgrades.
Jim said the ANC and the government have tried hard to exonerate Zuma and his ministers, like Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, since the release of Madonsela’s report.
“The defence of the ANC, and in particular its secretary general [Gwede Mantashe], has been either to reject the recommendations of the public protector or to attempt to challenge them.
“Instead of condemning this squandering of resources in the name of security of the president, we have seen leaders across the alliance from [ANC chief whip] Stone Sizane, [Deputy Minister of Public Works] Jeremy Cronin to Gwede Mantashe and [police commissioner] Riah Phiyega, making exuses for it,” Jim said.
‘Political patronage by the ANC’
He said Nkandla was nothing other than the ruling elite spending a huge amount of public money. “Further more, the CC [central committee] noted the continued undermining of chapter nine institutions, President Jacob Zuma’s blatant defiance of the public protector’s recommendations, and the arrogant defence to this looting and dependence on political patronage by the ANC and the SACP [South African Communist Party] factions”.
Meanwhile, Numsa want Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini to explain to Cosatu’s central executive committee meeting on May 26 why he should not be suspended for contravening Cosatu’s constitution and bringing the federation into disrepute.
Earlier on Thursday, in a curiously timed statement, the ministers responsible for police, the military, intelligence and justice said they had “resolved” to ask the high court to find the public protector’s Nkandla report invalid on the grounds that it is flawed, irrational, and contrary to the doctrine of the separation of powers.
However, there were no details on the planned action yet because detailed arguments had not yet been prepared. – Additional reporting by Phillip de Wet