Opposition parties have rejected the report by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko finding that President Jacob Zuma didn’t have to pay anything for the upgrades to his Nkandla home.
The Democratic Alliance questioned Nhleko’s independence and slated his report as an insult to South Africans.
“The DA will not allow the President to get away with the theft of public funds. We have‚ therefore‚ referred the matter to our legal team for the consideration of the rationale of Minister Nhleko’s determination‚ and our constitutional and legal remedies‚” party leader Mmusi Maimane said in a statement.
“The DA previously determined that the President is liable for at least an amount of R52.9 million for the non-security upgrades to his private home in KwaZulu-Natal. In addition to this amount‚ the President further remains liable for the tax on the fringe benefit received from the upgrades. But the Minister’s report demonstrates that President Zuma’s henchmen will do anything to shield the President from his responsibility.”
United Democratic Front leader Bantu Holomisa also slammed the report‚ dubbing it the “#NkandlaWhitewashReport”.
The EFF was furious.
“Minister Nhleko must understand that what was expected of him‚ as a employee of Jacob Zuma‚ was not to determine whether the President must pay or not. He was not tasked to duplicate the Public Protector’s investigation and only to contradict her findings that the swimming pool‚ cattle kraal‚ amphitheatre‚ and the chicken run were not part of the security features‚” the EFF said said in a statement.
The party was not convinced by the evidence presented by Nhleko to argue that these were in fact security features.
“The EFF does not buy all the stories‚ bioskops and cultural idioms used to cover up the truth. We warned long ago that the delay in publishing the cost of non-security features was because cabinet was cooking the report to try and protect the corruption of Jacob Zuma. These outcomes are however not to be believed because they are based on cheap expert explanations‚ unreliable wikipedia sources and low quality video bioskops‚” the EFF said.
They further said that they believe that the minister’s report is a preview of what will happen with the Marikana Commission report.
“They will cook it until no one is held responsible for the lives that were massacred by the ANC government‚” the EFF said.
Cope stated that it was not surprised by the findings.
“We knew all along that these Ministers will do everything in their power to exonerate the President and make futile the findings and recommendations of the Public Protector.
“We have continuously said all along that this government‚ led by the President‚ does not have any respect for the Constitution of the country‚” Cope said on its Facebook page.
Party spokesman Dennis Bloem said in a statement‚ “The Minister of Police tried to explain away the circumstances of the massive spending at Nkandla. His hope is that we would swallow all of this hook‚ line and sinker”.
However‚ he said‚ “Cope will not be that gullible. Cope will carefully study the report and we are certainly not going to leave it there”.
The African Christian Democratic Party said it was shocked by the report.
ACDP President‚ Rev Kenneth Meshoe‚ said in a statement: “This flies directly in the face of the Public Protector’s Report which recommended that remedial action be taken by the President to ‘ take steps‚ with the assistance of the National Treasury and the SAPS‚ to determine the reasonable cost of the measures implemented by the DPW at his private residence that do not relate to security‚ which includes the Visitors’ Centre‚ the amphitheatre‚ the cattle kraal and chicken run‚ the swimming pool’‚ and ‘Pay a reasonable percentage of the cost of the measures…’“.
“The Minister has now found that all these measures are security-related. Whilst we appreciate the need to protect the President and his family‚ the costs incurred to date are exorbitant and have caused public outrage.
“What is further concerning‚ given the large amounts already spent on Nkandla‚ is that the report states that more is to be spent on the outstanding security-related work.
“The Minister’s exoneration‚ to a certain degree‚ is to be expected‚ given the prevailing attitude of protecting President Zuma at all costs as displayed by both the Executive and the ad hoc committees of Parliament dealing with the issue.
“The ACDP will‚ once again‚ participate in the ad hoc committee dealing with this report where we will highlight the glaring inconsistencies between it and the Public Protector’s Report.”