'Fisheries court bid unrelated to Nkandla'

Tina Joemat-Pettersson says her court challenge against Madonsela is not related to the Nkandla report.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Picture: Sapa.

JOHANNESBURG - Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson says her court challenge against Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has nothing to do with the Nkandla report.

The public protector recently found that Joemat-Pettersson acted recklessly in awarding an R800 million tender.

On Wednesday Madonsela is due to release her findings into how more than R200 million was spent on President Jacob Zuma's KwaZulu-Natal home.

Speaking to John Robbie on Talk Radio 702 on Tuesday, Joemat-Pettersson says her court bid was about clearing her name.

"On Friday I served papers. My serving of papers has nothing to do with Nkandla."

The public protector this morning reacted to the Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries Minister's move with surprise, saying the department had initially agreed to implement her findings.

"I was shocked when she suddenly called a media briefing and indicated she is taking the matter to court. I was also shocked because my position at this stage is that I have played my part as the chairperson of an internal disciplinary inquiry. Now, the head company is the president. He hasn't pronounced himself on my findings," said Madonsela.

Madonsela said no court in South Africa would rule in favour of the Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries Minister.

But Joemat-Pettersson said she had legal grounds to fight the report.

A key aspect of the Nkandla report is whether it will deliver any adverse findings against Zuma and call on him to account to Parliament or even pay back some of the money.

An earlier inter-ministerial report cleared him of any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, African National Congress (ANC) National Executive Committee (NEC) member Thoko Didiza said speculation around the Nkandla report must stop.

Speaking during a debate on 20 years of democracy at the University of South Africa (Unisa) in Pretoria on Monday night, Didiza said the contents of Madonsela's report remained unknown and the party could only respond once they were made public.

"Obviously we cannot infer on a report that's not been seen as yet. Like all of you, we are all waiting. We will read the report once we have seen it and the ANC as a movement will make its decision."