Madonsela to 'depoliticise' Nkandla probe

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says she regrets acceding to demands by ministers.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on Wednesday said she will "depoliticise" her Nkandla investigation going forward and exclude government ministers from future engagements in the matter.

She says she now regrets acceding to demands by ministers by allowing them to review her report before interested and affected parties are allowed to see it.

Madonsela says the ministers conceded that they were not security experts, but that their officials were.

The protector says the process will now revert back to a technical engagement rather than a political process.

"I will invite the ministers and the security cluster to nominate security experts from within government to meet me at my offices to discuss the contended issues."

Her comments come after a bitter dispute between the public protector's office and the state's security cluster over Madonsela's preliminary report on Nkandla.

She was tasked with investigating the upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's private home which cost R206 million.

Last week, the state security cluster tried to block the release of her report, citing security concerns.

They took the matter to court but later backed down.

The security cluster said it had no intention of undermining the probe and said it only went to court to ask for more time to view the interim document.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said government had no intention to tell Madonsela how to do her job.

He said Madonsela was unreasonable by not giving the cluster a reasonable amount of time to view her report and comment on the matter.