ANC still has confidence in Zuma
The president has until Wednesday to act on Thuli Madonsela's damning Nkandla report.
JOHANNESBURG - As the ANC brushes aside questions about whether it still has confidence in President Jacob Zuma, he has until Wednesday to act on Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's damning Nkandla report.
Yesterday, the ruling party gave a strong indication that Zuma would account to Parliament as requested by the public protector but said it was giving him space to do so.
ANC Secretary General Gwede Mantashe addresses the media on the outcomes of its NEC meeting on 31 March. Picture: EWN.
Madonsela's report found the president unduly benefitted from the almost R250 million upgrades to his private Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal.
Madonsela ordered Zuma account to Parliament, discipline his ministers and pay back a portion of the money spent on upgrades not linked to security.
President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead. Picture: City Press.
But the president says he has no plans to refund the state, arguing he never asked for the upgrades and knew nothing about them.
The ANC's Gwede Mantashe said yesterday that Nkandla was the shortest item on the agenda at the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend.
"He's the president of the ANC and the face of the election campaign."
The ANC claims while the media is preoccupied with the Nkandla scandal, the majority of South Africans are not.
The party has rejected suggestions that it was misreading the mood of the nation.
Madonsela has said if Parliament convenes to debate the spending at Nkandla she would like to take part.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: EWN.
NEC DOMINATED BY ZUMA SUPPORTERS
At first it may seem odd that the NEC spent only a short time on the issue that's dominating the national conversation.
But that could also be because there is no point in anyone taking on Zuma within the NEC because it's dominated by people who back him.
At the same time, those supporters might have found it hard to say anything in his favour about how he has handled Nkandla.
Thus, both Zuma's enemies and his supporters might have found it unproductive to try and make this issue dominate the NEC meeting.
EWN Video: Zuma face of the ANC.