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Madonsela stands her ground

The Public Protector has refused to grant the state security cluster an extension.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has declined a request by the state security cluster for an extension of the period to review the interim report on Nkandla.

She says this is because she feels it prejudices other parties involved in the matter.

Madonsela has been investigating state expenditure on security at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla residence, amounting to more than R200-million.

Her explanation on an extension is contained in correspondence in a court application by the cluster to delay the release of the report and impose conditions.

Madonsela has until Wednesday to file her opposing affidavit.

The matter is scheduled to be heard on Friday.

Madonsela told Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, when declining his request for an extension, that she only gave the security cluster access to the provisional report as a special arrangement.

She added that, in her opinion, the security concerns he had raised should be glaringly obvious and the minister should not require more than two days to identify them.

Madonsela felt the report remaining in the hands of ministers for two weeks would be prejudicial to the other parties and create unnecessary suspicion that they were being treated differently.

Nxesi responded by warning Madonsela that the document contained top secret information and releasing it would mean a contravention of the National Key Point Act and the Protection of Information Act.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has slammed the court application, calling it a delaying tactic.

The party wants the report to be released as soon as possible.