SIU's Nkandla report only due after elections
Jacob Zuma says he will wait for the report before making further submissions to Parliament.
JOHANNESBURG - Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head advocate Vas Soni has told Eyewitness News he hopes to give a final report to President Jacob Zuma on his Nkandla investigation within the next six to seven weeks.
Zuma said on Wednesday he would wait for the SIU's report before making further submissions to Parliament in response to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's findings that he benefitted from government spending on his KwaZulu-Natal home.
President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead. Picture: City Press.
Madonsela's report found that Zuma improperly benefitted from the R246 million upgrades and that he violated the executive ethics code.
The report recommended the president account to Parliament and pay back part of the total sum, but did not accuse Zuma outright of theft.
Parliament received a copy of Zuma's response to the report yesterday.
Soni says the SIU hopes to start finishing the main part of its investigation within the next five weeks or so.
"At the end of that process, we would be ready to finalise our report which would take another two weeks after that, and that's the report we'll hand over to the president."
Soni says everyone has cooperated with his investigation so far.
"At this stage, we haven't encountered any resistance but I can imagine that some of the contractors may be unwilling to fully cooperate."
But Soni stresses he's only investigating the public works aspect of the Nkandla spending and not the police or the defence force aspects.
PARLIAMENT YET TO PUBLISH ZUMA'S RESPONSE
Parliament has yet to publish Zuma's response to the public protector's report.
However, Zuma is understood to have asked for more time before spelling out what action he intends taking.
Madonsela gave Zuma two weeks to submit his report to Parliament and to detail what action he intends taking, or has already taken.
In a statement yesterday, Parliament promised to make the president's response to Madonsela's report public.
Officials told Eyewitness News it would be published on Parliament's website.
However, media outlets linked to the Gupta family were reporting they had a leaked copy of Zuma's response.
It is now up to National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu to assert Parliament's authority over the matter.
ANC AND DA HAVE CONFIDENCE IN SMS RULING
Meanwhile, both the African National Congress (ANC) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) believe they've done enough to convince a court to rule in their favour over the controversial Nkandla SMS which was sent to over 1,5 million people.
The ANC turned to the South Gauteng High Court asking it to grant an urgent order forcing the DA to apologise for the message which said Zuma stole a quarter of a billion rand.
The ANC has accused the DA of "poisoning the electoral atmosphere" but the DA says the SMS constitutes "fair and protected comment".
EWN Video: Nkandla DA SMS lands in court.
The DA argues that a reasonable man would read the Nkandla report and conclude that the president has in fact stolen from the public.
The party's Mmusi Maimane said Zuma must be held accountable for looting of public funds and maladministration.
But the ANC's Jackson Mthembu said that's simply not true.
"We all listened to Madonsela for five hours and she didn't say 'Zuma stole your money'."
A crucial part of this case will centre around the definition of the word "stole" and how the ANC's interpretation of the electoral act fits in with the country's Constitution, which protects freedom of speech.
Judgment is expected on Friday.