DA: Zuma dodging Nkandla report
The opposition party says there’s no reason for the president to wait for the SIU report.
CAPE TOWN - President Jacob Zuma is trying to dodge having to account to South Africans on the Nkandla debacle until after the elections, the Democratic Alliance (DA) said on Thursday.
The opposition party said there's no reason for Zuma to wait for the Special Investigating Unit (SIU)'s report before fully responding to the findings by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
In the document released on 19 March, the protector found the president benefitted from the R246 million upgrades to his private KwaZulu-Natal home and violated the executive ethics code.
Madonsela ordered Zuma to pay back a portion of the money spent on non-security upgrades.
Zuma told parliament he first wants to see the SIU's report but that's only expected to be complete at the end of May.
DA Parliamentary Leader Lindiwe Mazibuko says Zuma is using the SIU probe into Nkandla as a delay tactic.
"The reality is that Zuma is trying to run away from accountability on this issue and he is trying to delay having to explain his actions to South Africa until after the elections on 7 May."
Zuma says he wants to wait because of differences between Madonsela's probe and that of the inter-ministerial committee.
Mazibuko says the DA is seeking legal opinion on whether Zuma can be compelled to abide by the protector's recommendations.
She says nothing is stopping National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu from setting up an ad-hoc committee to investigate.
SIU NKANDLA GAFFE
The SIU on Thursday said it is "deeply embarrassed" by what it labelled a website error relating to its Nkandla investigation.
On the same day that Zuma announced he would await the SIU report before responding, the unit's website changed the status of the probe from completed to ongoing.
SIU Head Vas Soni says this was a negligent but genuine mistake.
"There is no attempt to influence the timespan or the results of our investigation. I give you that unequivocal assurance."
Soni says they have an email trail showing how the mistake crept in.
"For some reason, the IT person thought that the investigation had started in 2008 and had finished in 2013, that's what she put on the website."
The SIU's investigation will be completed in late May or early June, after the country goes to the polls.
Read the SIU's full statement on the 'website error'.