9 April 2014

South Africa: Ad Hoc Committee to Consider Nkandla

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Johannesburg — An ad hoc committee would be formed to consider the submissions made by President Jacob Zuma in response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's report on upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, Parliament said on Wednesday.

The decision was made by National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu after he received Zuma's response to Madonsela's report last week.

Zuma gave Sisulu a copy of the report, a letter in response to it, and a proclamation.

"After consultation with the chief whip of the majority party and senior whips of other parties in the Assembly, the Speaker [Max Sisulu] has decided to establish an ad hoc committee in terms of the rules of the National Assembly... which empowers [him] to establish an ad hoc committee during Parliamentary recess," Parliament said in a statement.

"The mandate of the ad hoc committee is to consider the submissions by the President [Jacob Zuma] in response to the Public Protector's Report and make recommendations, where applicable."

The ad hoc committee would be made up of seven African National Congress members, two from the Democratic Alliance, one from the Inkatha Freedom Party and another single member from an unnamed party.

It would determine its own procedure, frequency and time of its meetings.

"The committee is to report no than later April 30, 2014," Parliament said.

Madonsela published her report on Nkandla on March 19.

Among the findings were that Zuma unduly benefited from the upgrades to his KwaZulu-Natal homestead, and that he should pay back a portion of the money.

Speaking during a door-to-door campaign in the Cape Town township of Gugulethu two weeks ago, Zuma said he had not been told about the upgrades to his Nkandla home, which included a swimming pool, cattle kraal, chicken coop and amphitheatre.

"They did this without telling me... So why should I pay for something I did not ask for?" he reportedly told a local private television station at the time.

Madonsela's 400-page report on Nkandla, titled Secure in Comfort, estimated that the value of the upgrades at Nkandla were about R246 million.

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