On Thursday President Jacob Zuma had to again address the question of his homestead Nkandla and the Marikana report in the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) in Parliament.
With opposition parties demanding the release of the Marikana report and accusing the president of dodging the issue and hiding the report, and Zuma calling mumbling MPs disrespectful, he used the last question in the NCOP to “help the Economic Freedom Fighters understand about Nkandla”.
Answering a question from EFF MP Dr Younus Cassim Vawda, who sneaked in a reference to Zuma’s Nkandla homestead and asked when he would be addressing the public’s concerns about it, the president said the EFF had something in their heads about Nkandla, and he wanted to “school them” about it.
“Shame bandla. Nkandla has been investigated by three agencies. There was a government task team that investigated Nkandla, there was SIU, and public protector. With regards to the public protector, she made specific recommendations and submitted the report in Parliament.
“The involvement of government in me building my house and the security features is government policy and there are departments responsible for that. And that’s what they did. And no one has found that they did anything wrong.”
Misunderstanding of report
The president said the EFF had jumped the gun in shouting “Pay back the Money” and they did not understand that the public protectors’ findings were not judgments.
“The public protector said this president and his family might have benefited unduly and may have to pay back the money. But that will be determined by the minister of police in consultation with the minister of finance. The minister of police has indicated that he is ready to respond and make the determination.
“The problem that has been bugging the EFF is jumping the gun. They say you should pay back the money, their understanding is that there is a judgment that Zuma must pay back the money and there is nothing like that.
“That is going to be determined by the process and it is the minister of police who is going to say the final word,” Zuma said, shouting at EFF MPs for not listening to his response, finishing off with slang “hololo”.
NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise had to often shout during the two and a half hour sitting, constantly asking EFF MPs Emmanuel Mtileni and Leigh-Ann Mathys to sit down when they rose to speak without being recognised.
Asked by United Democratic Movement’s Lenox Gaehler whether he would make the Farlam Commission of Inquiry into the shooting at Marikana available to the public, Zuma said he was still reading it and would make determinations later.
“I received the report of the Farlam Commission of Enquiry on the March 31 2015 and also received a briefing from Judge Ian Farlam subsequent to the delivery of the report. This is an important report, which needs careful consideration so that the findings and the recommendations can be used to ensure that such an incident does not happen again in our country.
Zuma said: “The report will be released to the public as soon as I have completed processing the findings and recommendations.” He used the same response to each follow up question on the matter, which led to opposition MPs accusing him of hiding and dodging the matter.
The plight of foreigners in the country also took centre stage as the president answered questions in the NCOP, with newly sworn in EFF MP Mokgosi Nkagisang saying it was Zuma’s son who made calls for foreigners to leave the country.
“It was you, who after the brutal murder of Emmanuel Sithole, claimed he was not in the country legally, inferring that perhaps it is ok to murder those who are in the country illegally. At your instructions, our armed forces are playing big brother to other African countries.
“As a leader who may have protected those who made these inflammatory remarks, when are you going to take personal responsibility for the violence that has ensured and personally apologise to South Africans and the rest of the African continent for your misguided views,” she said in her maiden speech.
Zuma said his son was a man who had his own views.
“It is not me who made the statement. It is Mziwoxolo Edward, and if he [EFF MP] wants to write and get a response, he can write to Edward. Why are you asking me, and not another youth? It is not my view,” Zuma said, constantly referring to the female EFF MP as a male.
On what steps he was taking to repair the relations with the neighbouring Southern African Development Community countries and restore South Africa’s reputation internationally, Zuma said South Africa provided “a report to the SADC region on the steps it had taken as a means of bringing an end to attacks against fellow Africans and other foreign nationals living in South Africa”.