11 June 2014

South Africa: Zuma to Report on Nkandla in July

Parliament — President Jacob Zuma has undertaken to give the Speaker a "comprehensive and final report" on the Nkandla controversy within 30 working days.

In a letter dated June 4, Zuma told National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete he was in a position to do so because he had seen the Special Investigating Unit's provisional report on improvements at his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

"I am now in receipt of the provisional report requested from the head of the Special Investigating Unit... While the report is still provisional, it has provided me with the insight I require in order to give consideration to the matter, having equal regard to the other reports to which I allude in my earlier correspondence.

"Accordingly, I am intent on providing you Madam Speaker a comprehensive and final report within the next 30 working days."

This was published in Parliament's list of announcements, tablings, and committee reports for Tuesday.

The lavish Nkandla project cost the taxpayer R246 million and dogged the president's re-election campaign after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that he had derived "undue benefit" from it.

Madonsela made public her findings in March in a 450-page report and gave Zuma 14 days to respond to it in Parliament.

Zuma kept to that timeframe, but declined to comment extensively.

In a letter to the Speaker dated April 1, he said he would await the outcome of the SIU probe as he wanted to consider its findings along with those of Madonsela and the inter-ministerial task team, which also investigated the Nkandla upgrades.

Zuma said it was at this point that he would outline the steps the executive intended to take on the matter.

In her report, Madonsela said Zuma should pay for some of the improvements out of his own pocket.

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