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Madonsela seeks to meet security cluster

The Public Protector will discuss security concerns surrounding her Nkandla report.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has categorically denied leaking her provisional Nkandla report. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela is hoping to meet with representatives of government's security cluster tomorrow to discuss security concerns surrounding her Nkandla report.

The ANC has continued to accuse Madonsela of leaking a draft report into the multimillion rand upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla residence.

The Mail & Guardian on Friday published sections of the preliminary report which indicated that a number of features on the property, including a swimming pool, cattle ranch and tuck shop, were paid for with state funds.

It recommended that Zuma be called to account to Parliament for the "substantial personal benefit" at his Kwazulu-Natal homestead.

The interim report, which government's security cluster tried to block, also said Zuma should pay the state back for all unnecessary expenditure.

WAR OF WORDS

Yesterday, Madonsela hit back at the ANC, categorically denying she is behind the leak and rubbishing claims she was dragging her heels in order to play politics.

She was responding to allegations made by ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe during an urgent briefing held at Luthuli House on Tuesday.

Mantashe appeared to come close to declaring open warfare on Madonsela, saying there seemed to be a deliberate campaign to cast aspersions on Zuma by releasing just snippets of information.

He said he now wants to see the entire report and is not willing to wait.

During her response, Madonsela said if her office wanted to leak the report, it would've done so a long time ago.

"I haven't said I have tightened security in my office, we have changed nothing in our internal system. But I have said we have tightened access to our reports by external people."

She phrased it carefully, saying she and her team are ready to meet with officials nominated by security cluster ministers.

"Should those officials be able to join us this Friday, the process will be expedited."

Madonsela said she's not investigating her team for possible leaks and asked whether it's a coincidence that reports only leak once they are shared with those affected or implicated.

She said despite so-called "case hardening", her final findings will be delivered with integrity.

Madonsela said if all goes according to plan, the final Nkandla report will be released in mid-January.

ANC RUBBISHES DA'S PUSH FOR IMPEACHMENT

The ruling party wasted no time in responding, softening its language, but making the same allegations that Madonsela is playing politics and is behind the leak.

It maintains Madonsela's office is the common denominator in several leaked reports which the security cluster ministers had nothing to do with.

The ANC in Parliament says the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s plans to push for Zuma's impeachment over Nkandla are mischievous and not worthy of a response.

The office of ANC Chief Whip Stone Sizani was reacting to comments made by DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko who said if it is found that Zuma deliberately misled Parliament over the Nkandla spending, her party will move for his impeachment.

Under the Constitution, a president can be impeached if there is two-thirds support for this from the National Assembly's 400 members of Parliament.

Mazibuko said she is aware it would not be easy.

"I certainly don't anticipate it will be a picnic. I am quite sure that given the ANC's record of placing the protection of government and President Zuma above all things, the ANC caucus in Parliament will be reluctant."

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