The Deputy Minister of Public Works, Jeremy Cronin, failed to address Nkandla and the National Key Points Act in his speech in the National Assembly yesterday, despite it being in the version released to the media. The Deputy Minister must clarify his position on these two issues to Parliament.
The written version of Deputy Minister Cronin's speech stated that the spending on Nkandla is "probably excessive and undoubtedly extremely costly security operational requirements [were] put in place". Yet when delivering his speech in the National Assembly, he failed to mention this or his views on the National Key Points Act.
On the National Key Points Act, his draft speech said that "Parliament does need to look at this anachronistic and problematic piece of legislation, it may well be unconstitutional".
The DA agrees with both of these statements, which is perhaps why he omitted these sections from the speech he gave in the National Assembly yesterday.
Deputy Minister Cronin also stated in his written speech that "we are not running away from our responsibilities in this matter, we will not sweep abuse under the carpet".
The only inference we can make from these statements is that he believes that his department should not hide behind the "problematic" National Key Points Act and that they should make public the task team's report into the excessive spending on Nkandla.
I will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Works to request that the Deputy Minister appear before the committee and clarify his position on these two key issues.
Nkandla has become a symbol of the state of the nation. It is a symbol of the national government's excessive expenditure, corruption, failure to address the needs of the poor and its increasing shift towards a secretive security state.
Clearly, Deputy Minister Cronin shares some of our views on this. He should therefore explain why he censored his own speech to the National Assembly yesterday.
Anchen Dreyer, DA Spokesperson on Public Works