Madonsela: It's risky to join EFF in Nkandla case

The public protector and the EFF want the president to pay back the money spent on his Nkandla homestead.

FILE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela says that while there is a risk that she may be painted as a supporter of the EFF by laying a charge against President Jacob Zuma in a bid to clarify the powers of her office, it's something that has to be done.

Madonsela on Wednesday confirmed that she had joined a case in the Constitutional Court brought by the opposition party to compel Zuma to pay back the money spent by government on his Nkandla homestead.

Last year she found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from non-security features - that formed part of a R246 million project - to upgrade his KwaZulu-Natal home, including a swimming pool, cattle kraal, visitors' centre and an amphitheatre.

The public protector recommended that a portion of the money be paid back.

Madonsela says she must clarify the powers of the office of the public protector.

"There are two risks: not participating means that our powers will be determined without our input, and the other risk is participating and being branded with whatever somebody else chooses to brand us.

"You choose the risk that you are prepared to live with. And the one I have chosen is the one that clarifies the powers of this office. So we have considered all of those things and we have made an informed decision."

(Shimoney Regter)