Mantashe sticks to his guns after criticising Nhleko

Mantashe said the minister's comment that more govt money will be spent at Nkandla was reckless.

African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - African National Congress (ANC) secretary general Gwede Mantashe has not backed down from his criticism of a comment made by Police Minister Nathi Nhleko about additional security costs required for Nkandla.

This weekend, the City Press quoted Mantashe describing Nhleko's announcement that more government money will be spent at Nkandla as reckless.

The ANC and leaders of Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) met last week to discuss the strength of the Tripartite Alliance.

Mantashe says Nhleko must explain what he meant.

"What I'm critical about is to throw a phrase that there will be more money spent and leave it at that. To leave society panicking, wondering how much? for what? Is he referring to maintenance or development? He must give a detailed explanation!"

Mantashe also says President Jacob Zuma's individual leadership style was not up for discussion during the recent meeting.

The newspaper reported there were heated exchanges among delegates at the alliance summit involving the ANC, SACP and Cosatu, where Paul Mashatile's suggestions for the ANC to pay for the non-security-related upgrades at Nkandla were shot down.

The alliance partners resolved that government needed to move fast to ensure the matter was finalised, which entailed holding accountable those found guilty of inflating costs of upgrading Zuma's homestead, and ensuring the money was recovered.

Mantashe said the failure to go beyond the "more money" phrase had only served to irritate the public further and Nhleko had a clumsy way of stating his intentions.

In March 2013, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her Nkandla report.

Madonsela found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from the R246 million upgrades to his private home.

She recommended that the president pay back a portion of the money spent on the upgrades.