Nkandla report: Govt's court decision slated

Opposition parties believe it's another bid to protect Jacob Zuma from Parliamentary scrutiny.

President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Government's decision to take Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's Nkandla report on judicial review has been criticised as another bid to bury the matter.

Madonsela's report, which was released in March, said the R246 million upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private KwaZulu-Natal home unduly benefitted him and his family.

A 2010 aerial view of Nkandla taken off Google Earth.

The latest aerial view of Nkandla taken in August 2013 which was taken by an aerial mapping company using a hi-tech, high-altitude mapping aircraft.

Opposition parties and legal experts slammed the move.

The security cluster of ministers announced yesterday they would approach the High Court for a review of Madonsela's report.

Legal experts and opposition parties said the government's court challenge would wipe Nkandla off Parliament's agenda.

Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution's Lawson Naidoo said, "It seems they want to take it off Parliament's process and to tie it up in a process and that can drag on for years."

Opposition parties believe it's another bid to protect the president from Parliamentary scrutiny.

The Democratic Alliance's James Selfe said, "It's a delaying tactic that has characterised the presidency of Zuma."

The Freedom Front Plus also slammed the move.

MADONSELA SHOCKED BY GOVERNMENT'S MOVE

Meanwhile, Madonsela said she was completely shocked that government was taking her Nkandla report to court for a review.

She said she didn't expect government to react this way.

"I was totally shocked especially because I received compliance reports from the Department of Public Works and the Defence Department. Nothing could have prepared me for this."

The Public Protector also described the government's decision as premature.

She said Parliament should discuss her report first and that the courts should only be approached if no common understanding was reached.

Her spokesperson, Kgalalelo Masibi, said Madonsela doubted any court would agree with the government's claim that she acted irrationally.

Masibi said the Public Protector would wait to receive the court papers before making any decision.

"The papers haven't been served to her but once she receives the papers she will decide what to do."

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