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Madonsela and state reports 'starkly different'

Initially government said Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla findings were similar to those of its investigation.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - President Jacob Zuma now appears to believe there are "stark differences" between Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla report and the outcomes of the state's own investigation.

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

ANC Secretary-General Gwede Mantashe addresses the media on the outcomes of its NEC. Picture: Alex Eliseev/EWN.

Zuma yesterday sent a three-page letter to Speaker of Parliament Max Sisulu, meeting the Public Protector's two-week deadline for him to account to the house.

The president said he would respond fully once the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) had wrapped up its Nkandla probe.

Madonsela's report 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.

Video: Thuli Madonsela releases her Nkandla report.

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

But the New Age newspaper has published a copy of the letter in which he essentially asks for more time to give a comprehensive report.

Interestingly, he says there are stark differences between the two Nkandla reports, both in their findings and the remedial action they recommend.

Until now South Africans have been drawn to the similarities of the two reports by those defending Zuma.

A 2010 aerial view of Nkandla taken off Google Earth.

The latest aerial view of Nkandla taken in August 2013.

SIU TO COMPLETE REPORT IN 7 WEEKS

The head of the SIU Vas Soni says his Nkandla report will only be given to the president in about seven weeks' time.

This means Zuma will only fully respond to the Public Protector's findings after the elections.

Soni says it would be unfair to say at this point if he had found any evidence of wrong-doing so far in his investigation.

"We're tying up our investigation and at this stage it would be unfair for me to say anymore except to say the evidence we would rely on would be the same as the one they relied upon."

The president only signed the proclamation allowing the SIU to investigate Nkandla in December last year, 10 months after Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said the unit would investigate.

The SIU has moved to clarify that its investigation into the Nkandla upgrades was still ongoing, adding the status of its report was incorrectly listed as "complete" on its website.

The Democratic Alliance's Lindiwe Mazibuko has demanded an explanation for what she terms the "suspicious last-minute change", as well as a full investigation into the matter.

Video: Nkandla explained.

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