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'Nkandla allegations hugely problematic'

It's been alleged that Thuli Madonsela was asked to stop her Nkandla investigation.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The office of the Public Protector is refusing to confirm or deny whether Thuli Madonsela has been asked by cabinet to drop her investigation into Nkandla.

Madonsela has been conducting her own investigation into spending and procurement of services related to the upgrading of President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

The upgrades have been at the centre of controversy after it was revealed that over R200 million of state funds was used.

The Sunday Times reported on Sunday that Madonsela was twice asked to stop her investigation, but insisted she would pursue the probe.

Parliamentary Leader of the Democratic Alliance Lindiwe Mazibuko says the claims raise very serious concerns about what Zuma is willing to do to hide what happened in Nkandla.

"It is deeply improper for a minister of state to try to improperly influence her by telling her to cease her investigation. These allegations are hugely problematic, they're not only unethical, but they could make all the ministers who participated in these meetings complicit in the scandal itself and in the attempts to cover the scandal up."

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi classified the report as top secret in June after it was considered by a Joint Standing Committee in Parliament behind closed doors.

Last year, he commissioned a task team from the justice and security cluster to investigate claims of irregularities in the use of public funds.