‘Those in public office have licence to help themselves’

The FW De Klerk Foundation has lambasted the police minister's findings on Nkandla.

FILE: A screen grab from the video the Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko exhibited as part of his report on the Nkandla fire pool. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The FW De Klerk Foundation says Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's Nkandla report reveals those in public office have license to help themselves to public resources.

Nhleko on Thursday found President Jacob Zuma was not liable to pay for any of the features that Public Protector Thuli Madonsela questioned were for security purposes.

The FW De Klerk Foundation's Dave Stewart said, "It doesn't matter what explanations one makes. It's unacceptable in a constitutional democracy to spend such a vast amount of money on the private residence of a political office bearer."

Political analyst Amanda Gouws says Nhleko's Nkandla report gives the head of state undue power.

She believes the findings set a dangerous precedent.

"What it contributes to is a lack of accountability because the president can say 'Other people have decided on my behalf', and we're back to square one where Zuma claims he knew nothing. So the buck doesn't stop with the head of state and I think that's a huge problem."

LISTEN: Nkandla report credibility under fire

ZUMA'S SECURITY EXPOSED

The minister assessed what Madonsela termed non-security features at the president's KwaZulu-Natal home including a visitor's centre, swimming pool and cattle kraal.

He concluded they were all built for security reasons and therefore Zuma was not liable to pay for them

Nhleko also said Zuma's security detail had received unprecedented exposure which may pose a risk to state security.

Nhleko said the investigation into the Nkandla spending debacle had exposed details surrounding Zuma's security to the general public and "hostile forces".

LISTEN: Zuma laughs about Nkandla.

The minister added that that the existing security measures had to be reviewed and the outstanding security related features should be completed.

SA WAITS FOR MADONSELA'S VOICE

While reaction and analysis to the latest Nkandla report has been pouring in, one voice is yet to be heard, that of Madonsela.

The powers of the office of the public protector are at stake and the response is therefore crucial.

It remains to be seen whether any legal action will follow now that her findings have been essentially disregarded entirely.

Her report spelled out how Zuma's home went from humble beginnings to a full township.

To read the police minister's full report click here.