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Cope snubs Nkandla committee

Mosiuoa Lekota says the party doesn't want to be part of a deliberate ruse to undermine the Constitution.

President Jacob Zuma's Nkanla homestead. Picture: City Press.

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of the People (Cope) on Friday said it won't take part in Parliament's ad-hoc committee established to consider Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla report.

National Assembly Speaker Max Sisulu on Wednesday announced that a 12-member multi-party body will investigate President Jacob Zuma's response to the damning report and make recommendations where necessary.

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

But Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota says the party doesn't want to get involved.

"We cannot be part of a deliberate ruse to undermine the Constitution by refusing to comply with the constitutionally prescribed right of the public protector."

The Democratic Alliance (DA) wants the body to investigate and decide whether Zuma should be removed from office.

But the ANC says the committee's mandate doesn't allow for that.

Madonsela's report, released on 19 March, found Zuma improperly benefitted from the R246 million upgrades and violated the executive ethics code.

The document recommended the president account to Parliament and pay back part of the total sum.

Zuma said he didn't ask for the upgrades and would not pay back any money to the state.

NAIDOO SLAMS NKANDLA

Former Cabinet member Jay Naidoo said it's atrocious that the government and ministers have defended the security upgrades to Zuma's private KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

He said he's been inundated with complaints about corruption by ordinary workers on a daily basis, adding the culture of corruption is rife within the public service.

Naidoo said more needs to be done to protect whistleblowers.

He said the exorbitant expenditure on Nkandla cannot be defended and Cabinet should take collective responsibility.

"Today we have a political government that is defending that. It is protecting what is a blatant example of corruption. Corruption Watch said that Cabinet should take accountability for Nkandla. I endorse that."

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