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20 Jul 2015 15:42
Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. (Madelene Cronje, M&G)
The day before the site visit on Wednesday, Police Minister
Nathi Nhleko will discuss his 50-page report with the committee, which found
that the kraal, swimming pool, amphitheatre and visitors’ centre could all be
counted as security upgrades.
Political analyst Daniel Silke said it appeared the
committee were preparing to “rubber stamp” the report.
“All we are seeing is they are simply trying to look as
though they are taking the report seriously and looking to perhaps portion some
blame to those who have been singled out in the report,” he said.
“This is the way in which the Parliamentary committee can
look as though they are more involved. Effectively the report has taken the
work out of their hands, there is not much left for them to do other than to
monitor the after effects of the report.
I don’t think there is going to be any
original contribution from the Parliamentary committee.
An anxious-looking Nhleko first presented the report on May
28, giggling and sweating though the presentation, which also included video
demonstrations of the fire pool and the cultural significance of the chicken
run and kraal.
According to the report, the fire pool was the best water
source available at Nkandla to replenish fire engines while the kraal
had significant spiritual and cultural value that extended beyond the storage
This is the only report that will be presented to the
committee regarding the Nkandla upgrades, after calls from opposition parties
to include public protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings and other reports fell
flat last month.
Silke said the exclusion of all other reports on Nkandla was
due to a fundamental conflict between Madonsela’s report, which found the
president and his family had benefitted unduly from the upgrades, and Nhleko’s,
which absolved Zuma of any wrongdoing.
“There will be no incentive for the ANC members of the
committee to rock the boat or contribute anything fresh.”
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni said all parties have
already taken positions on the Nkandla matter and they would just be using the
oversight visit to confirm their views.
“The results of this committee will be the same as the
last one, with slight variations. If anyone went into the committee thinking
that the president should not pay back any money, they will be going to cement
their views, while those who think he is guilty and should be paying back some
money will be going there to confirm their long-held views. I think people have
already taken up positions on the matter before the visit.”
The Democratic Alliance on Sunday said they would use the
opportunity presented by the oversight visit to challenge the police minister’s
“We will use this opportunity to oppose the police minister’s
exoneration of the president from any and all accountability, and fight to have
the remedial actions ordered by the public protector enforced. While the DA will
not be party to the rubber stamping of the police minister’s report, it will
participate on the committee as part of a robust undertaking to have the report
invalidated,” said leader Mmusi Maimane.
“To this end the DA’s participation on the committee in
no way condones the report by the minister of police which we contend is
fraught with credibility issues, at odds with constitutional principles and is
therefore irrational. Our primary focus this week will be to challenge Minister
Nhleko’s report on the grounds that it lacks legal standing and cannot
invalidate the remedial actions ordered by the public protector, Adv Thuli
Madonsela, in her report entitled Secure
In Comfort, he said.
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