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D-Day for Zuma

Thuli Madonsela will today release her report into spending at Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home.

Thuli Madonsela will today release her report into spending at Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - With just hours to go until the release of the Nkandla report there are fresh calls for politicians to desist from attacking the Office of the Public Protector and for the focus to remain on the actual findings.

Thuli Madonsela and her team investigated how around R208 million was spent on President Jacob Zuma's private KwaZulu-Natal residence.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: EWN.

The release of the report is being described as a major test for South Africa's democracy with government and the ANC being urged to act on the findings.

Government has always maintained that every cent spent on Nkandla went towards upgrading security for the president.

Madonsela's report will either confirm this or deliver adverse findings against Zuma, who would then stand accused of misleading Parliament.

A leaked copy of the interim report called on Zuma to not only account to Parliament, but to pay back some of the money.

Picture: EWN.

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos says Madonsela's office has the same standing as a judge and should command the same respect.

"It's very difficult to have the report of the Public Protector reviewed and set aside because you can only do so if the report was completely irrational and not because you disagree with it."

The Institute for Security Studies said Madonsela's findings must be acted upon and ignoring them could weaken the country's democracy.

The ANC claims the Nkandla report has become a political one.

OUTPOURING OF REACTION EXPECTED

A flood of reaction is likely to follow the release of the report, with the most important to watch how government and the ANC respond to the findings.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe spoke about Nkandla on behalf of the security cluster.

"There will be reaction when the report is released so let's wait for the report."

De Vos said the Public Protector's office must be respected.

"You can criticise the judgement of the Public Protector based on the law or on the interpretation of the facts. What you can't do is attack the integrity of Madonsela."

Madonsela won't be drawn on how the report will be received, but said all facts and legal aspects have been double-checked.