Opposition wants Nkandla minority report adopted

DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe. (David Harrison, M&G)

DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe. (David Harrison, M&G)

On Tuesday, the Nkandla Ad Hoc Committee will present a report to the National Assembly that recommends that both Police Minister Nathi Nhleko and Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi’s reports on the security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s home be adopted.

The report also recommends that the executive ensure that all the necessary steps were taken to ensure the safety of the president and his family were not compromised. 

But opposition parties in Parliament, excluding the Economic Freedom Fighters and Congress of the People who did not participate in the committee, are still hoping to get their minority report adopted instead.

But they would have to convince the ANC majority to vote with them as the ruling party holds 249 of the 400 seats in the National Assembly. The minority report was voted out in the Nkandla Ad Hoc committee earlier this month, but tomorrow the DA will move a motion in the National Assembly to have the committee’s report substituted with theirs, which includes findings such as that the minister of police misinterpreted his mandate and only concentrated on four issues. 

The minority report also finds that Nhleko failed to consider the other issues raised in the reports of the public protector and the Special Investigating Unit.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, DA federal executive chairperson James Selfe said they had participated in the committee to exhaust all their remedies, and they hoped to convince even ANC MPs to vote for their report on Tuesday.

“We will try and persuade the ANC APC alliance to adopt our minority report. In the absence of doing that, we will then start legal proceedings against the Speaker [Baleka Mbete] and against the president [Jacob Zuma] for not adhering to the Constitution and the Public Protector Act.”

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said Minister Nhleko’s report was completely at odds with due process and the Constitution and should have been declared irrational by Parliament. “Tomorrow is our last chance to declare it as such.
We therefore appeal, today, to all members of the National Assembly, especially those within the ANC, to exercise their consciences and support the deletion and substitution of the Nkandla whitewash report with the DA’s minority report. 

“We have a chance tomorrow to do what is right, and protect our Constitution and its Chapter Nine institutions. As Members of Parliament, who stood on the floor of Parliament and took an oath to uphold the Constitution, we are duty-bound to do this.” African Christian Democratic Party MP Steve Swart, standing behind DA leader Mmusi Maimane’s “believe” pulpit on the steps of the National Assembly, said opposition parties were united behind their minority report.

In the last Nkandla ad hoc committee, the opposition parties’ bid to include their findings in the overall report was thwarted when they were outvoted seven to three by the ruling party.

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