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Nkandla: DA seeks legal advice to pressure Zuma

The DA's Lindiwe Mazibuko says Zuma is trying to block accountability on the Nkandla issue.

The DA's Lindiwe Mazibuko says Zuma is trying to block accountability.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is seeking legal opinion on whether President Jacob Zuma can be compelled to abide by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendations on Nkandla.

The president has told Parliament he will fully respond to the Nkandla report once the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has reported to him.

The DA has accused Zuma of trying to delay accounting for his actions relating to upgrades at his home until after next month's elections.

In the report, Madonsela found that Zuma excessively benefitted from the R246 million upgrades at his home, violated the executive ethics code and should pay back a portion of the money.

In his letter to Parliament the president refers to a stark difference between Madonsela's report and that of the government's own probe.

He says he will respond only once he has seen the SIU's report.

But the official opposition's Lindiwe Mazibuko says Zuma is trying to use the SIU probe as a king-maker to break an invented deadlock.

Mazibuko adds Zuma is trying to block accountability and that the task team's report was a whitewash.

She says the DA is consulting lawyers over whether Zuma can be compelled to abide by the Public Protector's recommendations.

Initially government and the ANC insisted that Madonsela's findings were similar to those of its own investigation.

But Zuma's letter will only become public once it's tabled in Parliament.

SARS RESPONDS

The South African Revenue Service (Sars) has responded to the DA's request regarding Zuma's possible liability for fringe benefits tax.

According to the opposition party's calculations, Zuma could owe R17 million.

The DA says the figure is a conservative estimate.

Sars Commissioner Ivan Pillay's told the party it cannot disclose information about individual taxpayers.

But in a letter to the DA's Tim Harris, he says the matter will be dealt with in the normal course of work.

Harris says the DA welcomes the response from Sars.