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Madonsela: Accountability will prevail in the Nkandla saga

An Ad Hoc Committee was set up last month to consider Nathi Nhleko’s report that exonerated Zuma.

A view of the homestead of South African President Jacob Zuma in Nkandla in January 2014. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says she does not believe the parliamentary structure set up to deal with the Nkandla spending debacle will defend the rule of law as it consists of the same Members of Parliament (MPs) who cleared President Jacob Zuma of any wrongdoing before the police minister tabled his own report.

The Ad Hoc Committee was set up last month to consider Nathi Nhleko's report that exonerated Zuma of any blame for the additional spending at his homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Speaking in Sandton today, Madonsela said she doesn't understand why her findings are still being contested.

Madonsela says she's confident accountability will prevail in the Nkandla saga.

"I'm 100 percent sure of that; it's a question of when will it prevail. I'm not very confident that the parliamentary process is going to achieve that."

She says this is because many MPs have already taken a stance on the matter.

"Simply because the lines were drawn too early in terms of either defending or criticising."

Madonsela says a Supreme Court of Appeal ruling on the public protector's powers should settle the debate about the power of her recommendations.

AD HOC MPS TO VISIT NKANDLA

Last month a trip to Nkandla was put on the cards for MPs considering Nhleko's report.

The latest ad-hoc committee on Nkandla planned to visit President Jacob Zuma's private home so that MPs could see for themselves the work being done there.

It was also agreed that Nhleko will brief the committee on his report on 21 July.

Chairperson, African Natioanl Congress MP, Cedric Frolick said it was an important visit for the committee.

"We will be in a better position to make further recommendations. It would have been flawed I think, if we'd just sat here in Parliament and looked at all the slide shows and then come to a determination."

In a submission to the committee, the Democratic Alliance (DA)'s James Selfe said Nhleko's report should be rejected.

He said the president could not substitute the Public Protector's remedial action with another report by a member of his executive, as this is unlawful.

Selfe also said the report was deeply flawed.

Meanwhile, it's emerged that the police minister's report cost taxpayers R26,000 to produce.

Nhleko revealed this in a written reply to a DA Parliamentary question.

He said R26,000 was paid to the architectural and cultural experts consulted for the report, which found Zuma not liable to pay anything towards the upgrades because all the features, including the cattle kraal and swimming pool, were for his security.