Mbete lashes out at Nkandla critics

The ANC national chairperson has defended the importance of the president's R1m cattle kraal.

ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete has defended the importance of President Jacob Zuma's R1m cattle kraal at his private Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mbete spent the day yesterday at the Change Bible Church in Katlehong where she urged people to vote for the ANC because it's a religious organisation.

She said Zuma's cattle kraal is a holy space which should be respected.

"Any kraal belonging to any family is a very holy space. It's where people go to communicate with their ancestors."

Mbete said in the African tradition, people aren't allowed to interfere with a man's kraal.

"Somebody else coming and expressing themselves about your kraal is actually an affront in our culture."

Last week, Mbete made a similar statement with regards to the kraal at Zuma's private Nkandla residence.

Mbete also said the ANC hasn't yet made a decision on whether to challenge Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla report in court.

She said the party has also not yet decided on whether to act against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa for his role in the multi-million rand upgrades to Nkandla.

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

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

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

He has pledged to deliver a full response on the matter after receiving the Special Investigating Unit's report after next month's elections.

National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu has authorised the establishment of an ad-hoc committee to consider Zuma's response to the report.

Meanwhile, Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba says the nation deserves a leader who takes responsibility for his actions.

Makgoba,along with several other religious leaders, led a march in the Cape Town CBD yesterday, against corruption in government and abuse of power.

He said thousands of people have told him they've lost faith in government over the last few months.

The archbishop asked whether this mistrust felt for the state today, is the same as that felt towards the apartheid government.

"Mr president, what is your plan for responding to the historic levels of distrust that permeate every discussion about our national government? Which of our constitutional values did you use in making your decision about the money spent at Nkandla?"