ANC responds to Nkandla report

The ruling party did not intend to undermine the validity of the public protector's Nkandla report, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

"We are neither intending to ignore or undermine the validity of the report. There is no such intention within the ANC," Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

The African National Congress was "relieved" that the report had "finally been released to the public".

But the timing of the release of the report remained a concern "in terms of the disruptive effect" it would have on all political parties in their campaigning ahead of general elections in May, said Mantashe.

ANC WILL NOT APOLOGISE FOR NKANDLA

The ANC will not apologise for the findings of the Nkandla report, its secretary general said on Thursday.

"If there is a need for an apology, it can't be the ANC. If need be, it can be from the president or it may be by the relevant ministers," Gwede Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

"The ANC does not have a house called Nkandla. It has a house called Chief Albert Luthuli."

Also, members of the public would not accept the apology because they would say it was a cover-up, said Mantashe.

He said the African National Congress would invite members of the media on a visit to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal.

ANC deputy secretary general Jesse Duarte said ANC officials wanted to see the Nkandla upgrades for themselves.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her report on costly security upgrades at Nkandla on Wednesday, saying Zuma should have asked questions about the scale, costs, and affordability of security upgrades which could end up being as much as R240 million.

She found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from upgrades.

Mantashe said the ruling party's national executive committee was meeting next week.

"We have a scheduled NEC next week... obviously we may talk about the issue [Nkandla]."

Mantashe said the ANC needed to decide if it would encourage Zuma to follow Madonsela's recommendation to pay back some of the money.

"The public protector said the president must pay a reasonable percentage... and the question is whether we will encourage him to do so," said Mantashe.

ANC WILL QUESTION ZUMA IF NECESSARY: MANTASHE

The ANC will call on President Jacob Zuma to answer questions on the Nkandla report if necessary, secretary general Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday.

"If there are issues that the president will have to answer, the ANC will be able to call the president to answer questions on any matter," Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

"I don't know who told you the president has not been called to account... or won't be called to account. You are making a particular assumption."

But he said the ANC believed investigations should be focused on "people who are highlighted in the report".

The State must pursue everybody who fraudulently used state funds, he said.

"All those people must be brought to book, they must be pursued. And that excludes nobody."

He said the ANC's view was to use the report "as a guide" instead of conducting a witch hunt.

IMPEACHMENT CALL WAS 'PREMEDITATED': ANC

A call for President Jacob Zuma's impeachment was a premeditated decision by opposition parties, the ruling party said on Thursday.

African National Congress secretary general Gwede Mantashe said the opposition had decided to call for his impeachment prior to the release of the Nkandla report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

"The call by some opposition parties for impeachment is a premeditated decision," Mantashe told reporters in Johannesburg.

He said the biggest problem with the cost security upgrades at Zuma's Nkandla home in KwaZulu-Natal was "inflation of prices".

"This project is a sample to say we should look at whether prices aren't inflated in other areas."

All officials involved "must be brought to book" and all funds acquired inappropriately must be paid back, said Mantashe.

Mantashe said the ANC did not intend to undermine the validity of the report.

"We are neither intending to ignore or undermine the validity of the report. There is no such intention within the ANC."

The ANC was "relieved" that the report had "finally been released to the public".

But the timing of the release of the report remained a concern "in terms of the disruptive effect" it would have on all political parties in their campaigning ahead of general elections in May, said Mantashe.

Madonsela released the Nkandla report on Wednesday, saying Zuma should have asked questions about the scale, costs, and affordability of security upgrades which could end up being as much as R240 million.

She found that Zuma and his family unduly benefited from upgrades.

 

Source : Sapa

More updates to follow..

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X