Zuma to report back on Nkandla within 30 days
President Jacob Zuma will give a comprehensive and final report on his Nkandla home to Parliament within the next 30 days.
Zuma informed speaker of the National Assembly Baleka Mbete this week that he is now in receipt of the provisional Special Investigations Unit’s (SIU) report, which has been one of the state agencies scrutinising the Nkandla matter.
In a letter dated June 4, which is in possession of the Mail and Guardian, Zuma wrote: “While the report is still provisional, it has provided me with the insight I require in order to give consideration to the matter having equal regard to the other reports to which I allude in my earlier correspondence.
“Accordingly, I am intent on providing you madam speaker with a comprehensive and final report within the next 30 working days,” he said.
On April 2, Zuma informed the previous national assembly speaker Max Sisulu that he would wait for the SIU report before responding in full to public protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings. This was 14 days after Madonsela made public the findings of her investigation into the multimillion-rand security upgrades at Zuma’s private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma said at the time that three state agencies or institutions, namely the public protector, the justice, crime prevention and security cluster of Cabinet and the SIU, have all inquired into the same subject matter and he had decided to consider all the matters before him and, upon receipt of the SIU report, will provide Parliament with a further report on the decisive executive interventions he would consider to be appropriate.
“The president remains concerned about the allegations of maladministration and impropriety around procurement in the Nkandla project, in particular the allegations of cost inflation,” said the presidency in a statement at the time.
Committee shut down
When Sisulu established a special parliamentary committee to process Madonsela’s report and Zuma’s response to it – less than a month before the May 7 general elections – the ANC in Parliament filibustered that process and eventually shut the committee down, saying there wasn’t enough time for it to do a thorough job before the fourth Parliament’s dissolution on May 6.
It remains to be seen whether the new Parliament will revive the committee.
The rules of Parliament require a member of Parliament to table a motion to revive the committee and the motion should be supported by a majority of the National Assembly.
The ANC holds a majority of 249 seats in the 400-seat National Assembly.
Sisulu resigned from Parliament on May 29 after the ANC appointed Mbete in his position last week, and Zuma snubbed him when he appointed his new national executive. ANC sources have claimed that he fell out with Zuma and other senior ANC leaders for his apparent reluctance to preside over the assembly in a partisan way. Establishing an ad-hoc committee to look into the public Nkandla matter was apparently the final straw.
The ANC denied these allegations following Sisulu’s resignation saying: “We want to dispel an unfounded rumour that comrade Max resigned after he had been summoned to a meeting at the ANC headquarters pertaining to Nkandla investigation.
“This mischievous assertion seeks to second guess reasons behind comrade Max’s decision. We appeal for all those who are spreading these lies to desist from such and respect his decision.”