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Nkandla committee: Battle lines drawn

It is still not clear when the body will have its first meeting.

A 2010 aerial view of Nkandla. Picture: Google Earth.

CAPE TOWN - It is still not clear when the parliamentary Nkandla ad-hoc committee will have its first meeting.

National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu on Wednesday evening revealed that a 12-member multi-party body would consider Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's damning report on the issue.

Despite the exact details not being clear, the battle lines have already being drawn over the mandate of the committee.

Parliament last week confirmed it received a copy of President Jacob Zuma's response to the Nkandla document.

Video: Madonsela releases her finalised report

The body will consist of seven ANC members and five from opposition parties.

The committee has to report back to Parliament by the end of the month.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip Watty Watson says the committee is the first step to get Zuma removed from office.

"The president and all implicated ministers must be summoned to testify."

Video: Nkandla explained

But the ANC in Parliament rejects that view.

ANC Parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo says, "It's not looking at the conduct of the sitting president, it's looking at the response of the sitting president to a particular report of the public protector."

While parties have welcomed the formation of the committee, there's likely to be an early battle over just what it can or should do.

COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY

Corruption Watch says Zuma and his Cabinet should take collective responsibility for the abuse of state resources at his Nkandla home.

The group says it would be wrong for the president and his ministers to treat Madonsela's Nkandla report with indifference.

Zuma said he will only fully respond to Madonsela's report after the Special Investigating Unit completes its probe at the end of May.

Corruption Watch Chairperson Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane says,_ "_The moral function of the state is to coordinate the resources at its disposal for the wellbeing of its citizens and therefore it's in that context that they should take responsibility."