PRESIDENT ZUMA SERIOUS ABOUT NKANDLA MATTER: ANC CHIEF WHIP
By: Given Jama
The African National Congress Chief Whip’s office has welcomed President Jacob Zuma’s intention to provide a “comprehensive and final report” on the R246 million security upgrades of the president’s residence in Nkandla.
In a statement released by Stone Sizani’s office on Wednesday, it said, “The Office of the ANC Chief Whip welcomes the indication by President Jacob Zuma that he intends providing the Speaker of the National Assembly with a comprehensive and final report within 30 days…”
President Zuma’s letter containing this 30 days commitment was tabled in parliament earlier on Tuesday.
The statement said that the president’s letter to parliament is a portrayal of the president’s sincerity on this matter.
“This assurance, made in a letter to the Speaker, is consistent with an earlier undertaking made by the President that a comprehensive response to the Public Protector’s report would be made once all other reports on the matter have been considered.”
Zuma had sent a letter to former National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu committing to respond upon receiving the Special Investigations Unit report which he (Zuma) has now received. “I am intent on giving full and proper consideration to all these matters and upon receipt of the SIU report will provide Parliament with a further final report on the decisive executive interventions which I consider would be appropriate.”
The statement also said that this President Zuma’s act also affirms the ANC’s opinion that, “It would be in the interest of Parliament that it deals with the report of the Public Protector holistically rather than on a piecemeal basis.”
The Democratic Alliance’s Federal Executive Chairperson James Selfe wrote in a statement that, “This confirmation indicates a long overdue process in the matter.”
Selfe said that President Zuma had not made a definite commitment to the 30 days which hints a possibility of a request for an extension from Zuma.
Selfe wrote a letter to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete challenging her on her assertion that it was currently the duty of the National Assembly’s duty to establish a new Ad Hoc committee. In a subsequent response, Mbethe deflected the matter to the National Assembly.
“The DA will not take this lying down. We will continue to fight for the establishment of this committee and finally find out who knew about the R246 million upgrades to the President’s private residence,” said Selfe.
Sizani’s office said that the establishment of the previous Ad Hoc committee and its findings are yet to be considered by parliament. “It is in this context that we find the DA’s request extremely bizarre, irrational and premature,” said the statement from Sizani’s office.