EFF vows to press on with questions on Nkandla

The EFF says it’ll use Zuma’s State Of The Nation Address debate to ask when he’s paying back the money.

FILE. The EFF says it’ll use Zuma’s State Of The Nation Address debate to ask when he’s paying back the money. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have vowed to use President Jacob Zuma's State of the Nation Address in February to hold him to account for spending on his Nkandla home.

Emboldened by a High Court judgement on Tuesday, which effectively lifted sanctions against 20 Members of Parliament (MPs), the EFF says it will carry on a sking the president to pay back part of the money spent on multi-million rand upgrades to his private residence, as recommended by the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

In March Madonsela released a scathing report on Nkandla.

She found that the president and his family unduly benefitted from the R246 million upgrades to his home.

The public protector ordered that Zuma pay back a portion of the money spent on the upgrades.

In November, 12 MPs were suspended without pay for between 14 and 30 days for disrupting Zuma's question session three months earlier.

Another eight were fined two weeks' salary.

MPs chanted "pay back the money," referring to the multi-million rand upgrades at the Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The EFF's Nazier Paulsen says the president has a question to answer.

"He's got a date with South Africa on 12 February, when he appears to tell us when he's going to pay back the money."

Opposition parties can respond to the president's State of the Nation address the following week.

On Tuesday, Western Cape High Court Judge Denis Davis granted the EFF's application to prevent Parliament from implementing sanctions against 20 of its MPs.

This means Parliament has to immediately pay the MPs their salaries.

Judge Davis has not made a finding on whether the MPs deserved the sanctions because that's for another court to decide at a later stage.

Meanwhile, the ANC in Parliament maintains the correct procedures were followed when sanctions were imposed on the 20 EFF MPs.

The ruling party's Moloto Mothapo says Parliament's powers and privileges committee followed all the rules when finding the EFF MPs guilty of misconduct.

"We still remain firm in our belief that the committee followed all the processes and rules of the National Assembly and followed the Constitution as well as the Act."