29 November 2013

South Africa: Nkandlagate - Report Findings Could Lead to a S89 Investigation of President Zuma

press release

The alleged provisional findings contained in the Public Protector's report into the spending of over R200 million on President Zuma's private home in Nkandla are so damning that, if accurate, they would warrant the most severe sanction of President Jacob Zuma's conduct.

Should the final report findings which are released to the public by the Public Protector remain unchanged, I will consider tabling a motion to investigate President Zuma in terms of Section 89 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.

This motion would result in a full investigation by Parliament into his conduct on two grounds, both contained in the Constitution, namely (a) being in violation of the Constitution or the law and (b) committing "serious misconduct".

The reports in the media report seem to indicate a violation of both provisions:

In response to my question to President Zuma in the National Assembly last year, he told Parliament that "all the buildings and every room we use in that residence was built by ourselves as family and not government." This is allegedly refuted by the provisional report where it is further revealed that President Zuma personally benefited from the upgrade. This includes:

A swimming pool;

A visitor's centre;

An amphitheatre;

A cattle kraal;

Extensive paving and a marquee area;

And the relocating of family relatives' rondavels at state expense

The report also brings into question both President Zuma and his cabinet ministers' claims that he was not involved in the project. The alleged findings claim that the "owner/owner's representative negotiated with the families and agreed to provide each with four rondavels, palisade fencing, an access road, paving, water and electricity connections, and a cattle kraal".

It is also alleged that there were attempts to apportion some of the non-security costs to the President, but this was unsuccessful; and that at least four companies that were being previously privately used by President Zuma were brought into the project and paid by the Department of Public Works, without proper tender processes being followed.

This collectively, as the Public Protector's provisional findings allegedly hold, is a violation of the Executive Ethics Code and may amount to the deliberate misleading of Parliament. These are serious offences which cannot be ignored.

As more and more details surrounding Nkandlagate emerge, it is becoming increasingly clear that President Zuma is at the centre of one of the biggest corruption scandals in democratic South Africa. He must be accordingly held accountable by Parliament for his actions.

As the complainant in this case, I now look forward to viewing the provisional report, as well as the final report, when it is made public.

The DA can commit today to ensuring that we will take every step necessary to ensure that all those responsible, including President Zuma, are held to account for this blatant corruption.

Lindiwe Mazibuko, Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance

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