Nkandla battle looms in Parliament

The ANC and DA are set to come to verbal blows this afternoon over Parliament's role in dealing with Nkandla.

President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: City Press.

CAPE TOWN - A battle is looming over how far Parliament should go in dealing with the R246 million spent on upgrading President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) and the African National Congress (ANC) are set to come to verbal blows in the National Assembly this afternoon over Parliament's role in dealing with the Nkandla spending scandal.

The ANC has given notice that it will move for a fresh ad-hoc committee to be established to consider the matter.

The ruling party has made it clear the committee should consider only Zuma's response to various reports on the matter.

The ANC says while an ad-hoc committee should consider the matter, its insisting that examination should begin and end with Zuma's response to reports by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and the government task team.

The DA says this is another bid to shield Zuma from having to explain his role in the debacle. The party will be arguing for the committee's mandate to be broadened.


On Monday, lawyers for Nkandla Architect Minenhle Makhanya said it was too soon to say if he's being made into a scapegoat to justify Zuma's spending.

Makhanya's lawyers handed in legal documents stating their intention to defend him against an application by the SIU that he should repay government over R150 million of the money spent on Nkandla.

His attorney Barnabas Xulu said his client wasn't in overall command of the money spent on Nkandla.

In March, Madonsela found that Zuma and his family unduly benefitted from the R246 million security upgrades at his private residence and that he should pay back some of the money.

The report also implicated Makhanya, saying he received R16,5 million from the controversial project.

The protector said Makhanya was the de facto project manager for the entire upgrade and was the tail that wagged the government dog.

She said low-level officials may have been intimidated by the architect who had a direct line to Zuma.

On Thursday, the president, in a 20-page written response, said Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko must now determine whether he must repay some of the money spent on Nkandla.