President Jacob Zuma bears no responsibility for overspending at his Nkandla home, ANC MPs said on Tuesday, as they continued Parliament’s consideration of the matter.
The parliamentary committee on Nkandla resumed without the opposition, who withdrew in protest last week.
“It cannot be that there was enrichment that came about as the result of an error of judgment of someone and that the president has something to pay,” senior ANC MP Mathole Motshekga said.
Madonsela’s findings ‘not binding’
Motshekga made the remark after telling his five ANC colleagues in the committee he maintained his view that public protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings were not binding and so the committee did not have to enforce them.
Madonsela ordered as remedial action that the president repay a portion of the R246-million spent on security upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal. Motshekga said Madonsela had not expressly found that the president had violated the code of ethics governing members of the executive as she used the words “may have” in her report released in March.
Therefore, he said: “One should be upfront here and say the president has not violated any code of conduct. Even to begin to suggest payment by the president, of anything, begins to seem absurd.”
All opposition parties walked out of the committee on Friday because of a fundamental disagreement with the ANC’s position on the status of findings made by the public protector. They accused the ANC of undermining her office to protect Zuma. – Sapa