SACP says Zuma's apology isn't enough

The party says it has called for a broader inquiry into the Nkandla matter.

President Jacob Zuma in response to the debate on the State of the Nation Address, National Assembly, Cape Town. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) says President Jacob Zuma's apology is not enough and have called for a broader inquiry into the Nkandla matter.

The Sunday Independent revealed that the SACP held a meeting at the weekend to discuss the Constitutional Court judgement.

The African National Congress (ANC)'s alliance partner has called for a meeting with the majority party to discuss the lessons to be learnt from the judgment, as well as Zuma's speech to the nation.

The SACP says the fact that Zuma announced that the Nkandla matter could have been handled differently, means there should be a new inquiry to establish how this could have been done.

Spokesperson Alex Mashilo says the ANC needs to self-introspect.

"The matter could have been handled differently and should not have taken the length of time that it took. This was the basis for a new and deeper inquiry."

Mashilo says Parliament shouldn't be narrowly defensive to the Constitutional Court judgement.

"They've got to ask themselves how did things happen the way they did, they've got to look into their role."

The SACP says it will also engage with the ANC on the role played by some of its own members in Parliament over the Nkandla matter.

The SACP's statement comes on the back of anti-apartheid stalwart Ahmed Kathrada who said he cannot continue to relate to a president who has been unanimously found to have failed to uphold and defend the Constitution.

Kathrada has released what he calls an "agonising" letter to Zuma, calling on Zuma to submit to the will of the people and resign.

The ANC said it will not comment on a letter addressed to the presidency.

Kathrada said he has been left with no choice but to speak out against Zuma, saying only his resignation will help the country out of the current crisis, not an apology.

Foundation director Neeshan Balton said the letter was sent to the president on Friday afternoon and the only reply was a note of receipt.

"Mr Kathrada was acting in the interst of the country and believes it will best for the country if the president can step down."

Constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos said voters should decide if they accept Zuma's apology instead of his resignation.

"If they do, then they'll vote for the party if the president leaves. But if he doesn't leave then they're going to vote for another party."

De Vos said Zuma was dishonest when he said he had always intended to pay back the money spent on his Nkandla home and it's strange for him to make the claim during his apology to the nation.