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ANC MPs: Nxesi should explain Nkandla spending

MPs on the ad hoc committee agree that the Public Works Minister should be called to answer questions.

FILE: Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi. Picture: EWN.

PIETERMARITZBURG - African National Congress (ANC) Members of Parliament (MPs) say Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi should be called to explain the Nkandla spending debacle to the Parliamentary ad hoc committee looking into the matter.

Last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found the president unduly benefited from non-security installations, which formed part of a R246 million project to upgrade his home.

But the police minister's report says the security features totalled R50 million, excluding the R20 million consultant fees.

MPs sitting on the ad hoc committee agree that the public works minister should be called to answer questions.

But opposition parliamentarians have been pushing for Madonsela, President Jacob Zuma and his architect Minenhle Makhanya to also appear before the committee.

The Democratic Alliance's(DA) John Steenhuisen said, "I can see what the tactic here is: it's to shut this down as quickly as possible, not bring players before the committee who are not in control of Luthuli House and of the Presidency. That's why we know we are going to get the minister of public works and the minister of police back."

Ruling party MPs have accused the public protector of misleading the country with her report.

They've rejected words such as 'amphitheatre' and 'visitors centre' to describe some of the features installed at the president's home.

MADONSELA UNDER ATTACK

At the same time Madonsela has come under attack from the ANC.

MPs on the ad hoc committee were deliberating about what they saw on the president's property yesterday.

ANC MP Thandi Mahambehlala lashed out at Madonsela for "misleading the country" with her Nkandla report, which she said has tarnished government's image and credibility.

Her colleague Mmamoloko Kubayi said South Africans had been exposed to "misleading terminology".

"I cannot even imagine how the word 'amphitheatre' was used for that place."

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said Madonsela should explain her findings to the ad hoc committee.

"If there are some disconnects with her report, and there might be some, then we need to hear from her."

Ruling party MPs have reiterated the president is not secure in comfort, as Madonsela's report suggests.