Nkandla committee postpones investigation

ANC members on the Parliamentary committee won a vote to hold off until after the elections.

ANC members on the Parliamentary committee on the Nkandla report won a vote to hold off its work until after the elections.

CAPE TOWN - The Parliamentary ad-hoc committee considering Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla report has postponed its work until after the 7 May elections.

The ANC has used its majority on the committee to vote in favour of deferring the matter to the next session of Parliament which will only be convened after the country goes to the polls.

In March, Madonsela found that President Jacob Zuma unduly benefited from the R246 million upgrades to his private KwaZulu-Natal home.

While she found that Zuma misled Parliament unintentionally, she recommended that he account to the National Assembly, pay back a sum of the money spent on non-security matters and reprimand ministers and other officials involved.

See the full report here.

Zuma has publicly stated that he never asked for the upgrades and said he would not pay back any funds.

The ruling party's Buti Manamela insists the ANC views the findings against Zuma as an important matter.

But he argued that there was too little time before Parliament dissolves at midnight on 6 May for the committee to properly consider the president's response to the damning report.

Addressing the committee chair, Cedric Frolick, Manamela explained the views of the majority members.

"We did not think that the time allocated to this committee is sufficient to explore all the things which members request. Also, we bear in mind that we are in an election period."

Speaking to Talk Radio 702's Xolani Gwala this evening, the party's Moloto Mothapo said the issue was not being swept under the carpet.

"There is nothing that is going to be lost by just ensuring that this matter is thoroughly dealt with after the elections," he argued.

However, Democratic Alliance (DA) Members of Parliament have described the decision as scandalous.

They say Parliament is failing in its constitutional duty to hold the government to account.

Also speaking on Talk Radio 702, DA leader Helen Zille questioned the move to postpone the committee.

"The ANC has a long record of seeming to do the right thing but ensuring that it never works out that way and that it is frustrated at every turn in doing its work impartially and accountably to the people of South Africa."

At the same time, DA Parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko says the decision is shameful.

"It speaks to what I believe is a pre-determined outcome that the ANC has been working towards - which is to shut this committee down as quickly as is humanly possible."