The PP's Nkandla report is the joke of the century - CLEEBLAW

Mbuyiseni Mathonsi says apart from anything else Thuli Madonsela seems unable to count



Presentation by Mbuyiseni Mathonsi at Durban City Hall on 01 April 2014.

When Zuma took over the ANC leadership in 2007 and subsequently the presidency of the republic, the SACP correctly characterised what was going to be the approach of the opposition in South Africa. The Zuma presidency would be confronted with the wrath of the anti-majority liberal offensive as well as the new tendency or demagoguery (from within the liberation movement). The anti-majoritarian liberal offensive has Zille as the CEO and media as the mouth piece of the.

As its primary responsibility, this offensive would ensure that they use the class power at their disposal (all resources including dirty money) to rule the majority of South Africans from the stand point of a minority. In the process this offensive is creating a new South African world where things will stand upside down in which the numerical minority shall be cultural majority while the numerical majority becomes the cultural minority. Of course Marx reminds us to note that the dominant ideas in any society are those of the propertied class.

Amongst other things they would do, is to take opportunistically so, every available opportunity to force it down the people's minds that the ANC and its alliance should not be trusted because they are corrupt and have no interests of the South African people at heart. Their rallying point and the main enemy would be President Zuma. The aim is to try and isolate Zuma, not only from the ANC collective but also from the rest of the ANC. Hence some people today are not afraid to pronounce that the ANC and the country were better during Mandela and Mbeki eras.

They proudly speak these lies in the face of an independent study by Ernest and Young on their 2013 survey referred to as Ernest and Young attractiveness survey, Africa 2013, GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS, it claims that South Africa is one of the most attractive investment destination in the continent and the world with 61% of external investors sharing that view. The survey further states that South Africa has emerged as a leading investor in the continent. South Africa, according to the survey is one of the emerging markets that continue to grow their share of investment despite the global economic crises as you may see the graph underneath.

Another strategy of the anti-majoritarian liberal offensive would be to rule the country through courts and chapter 9 institutions with the public protector being the most willing horse. To an extent that they don't want to acknowledge that the present and the very same (darling) public protector, the chief justice and ministers are all appointed by and through the wisdom of the same President ZUMA.

While the liberal offensive uses the apartheid colonialist acquired economic power to advance their interests and reverse our gains, we, on the other hand are dependent on nothing else other than our mass/class power. Part of the reasons for these forums is to reignite that power and mobilise our class forces in defence of this offensive.

The new tendency, on the other hand, are those from within our ranks and in our gear, who chant our slogans but with no other primary motive than the one of liquidating our class strength while consolidating the enemy camp. It is the very same group of people that gets ejected by revolutionary structures and processes to become their real self (enemies of our revolution). This group is reflected through sharing the same motive, aspirations and an agenda with the liberal offensive around the public protector's report and the broader Nkandla matter.

The role of media as the mouth peace or spokesperson of the two above offensives would have a "Goebells of Germany responsibility"whose role was to spread propaganda. Like Goebells the South African media believes that "

"Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favorable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favorable to its own side. (...) The receptive powers of the masses are very restricted, and their understanding is feeble. On the other hand, they quickly forget. Such being the case, all effective propaganda must be confined to a few bare essentials and those must be expressed as far as possible in stereotyped formulas. These slogans should be persistently repeated until the very last individual has come to grasp the idea that has been put forward. (...) Every change that is made in the subject of a propagandist message must always emphasize the same conclusion. The leading slogan must of course be illustrated in many ways and from several angles, but in the end one must always return to the assertion of the same formula."

One such propaganda rammed down our throats is Zuma's private residence costing the "tax payers" different but big amounts: 206 million or 215 million or 246 million when actually the truth is that Zuma's security upgrades costed 71 212 621 - 77, inclusive of professional fees of R20 688 736 -89. In essence upgrades at Zuma's private residence (the real mandate Madonsela was given to investigate) equals R50 523 885. So does this not compare with Mandela's security upgrades set to be around R38 million in 1998?

Again this report by Thuli Madonsela has been well calculated and well suited to further their agenda against the president in particular and the ANC in general. What is said is that even people we trusted as good thinkers have just fallen victims of this propaganda, they have swallowed it line and sinker and are running with it like headless chicken.

Some of us refuse to be used in that agenda, we refuse that our capacity to think and arrive at our own decisions be take away from us or be subsumed under that of propagandists. We refuse to let other people think on our behalf. We also refuse to accept that the Public protector is our "Lord who art in Heaven" and therefore is above public scrutiny. We have read the report and we do insists that it has a lot of inconsistencies, contradictions and flaws and for us to do that we do not need a permission of the Public Protector, the liberal media or the opposition.



The South African Public protector presented her report/thesis/press release to the media of South Africa and the world on the 19 March 2014. In her report/thesis the public protector made reference to some findings and recommendations. For now we will skip referring this forum to her shoddiness in report writing.

Since the announcement/presentation of the report there have been different responses and feelings. Quickly the DA and EFF went to open criminal cases against the president (unfortunately we don't know the content of their cases). Mind you the effect of the criminal charges being laid as a result of the report of the public protector means that the entire issue pertaining to the public protector's report is subjudice. For an example if for whatever reason the president were to pay or demonstrate the intention to pay, he would of necessity be admitting guilt as per the recent lodged criminal cases.

Already the DA has coined an advert about "Inkandla" matter, Tutu (as expected) and his civil society organisation conducted a march and prayer in support of the report. Surprisingly (but not unexpectedly) Kgalema Montlante also stood up in defence of the report. This is just an indication of how far reaching the consequences of the report are.

Thuli Madonsela, on the other hand has nominated herself as the defender of her own report calling upon the South African public "not to protect the president", and referring to the CONCERNED LAWYERS AND EDUCATIONISTS FOR EQUALITY BEFORE THE LAW (CLEEBLAW), as lawyers who have "suddenly" crept out of the woodwork. Her spokesperson, Kgalalelo Masibi, demonstrating his little understanding of the mandate of his boss, he says "it is the law that gives the public protector the right to make conclusions and rule on matters".

In the same newspaper, Sunday tribune, March 30, the same spokesperson says that a challenge to the report should be viewed as an interference with the internal accountability processes within the state and that the matter had to go parliament first. In the Mercury of 31 March 2014, Madonsela herself is quoted as having said that the ANC leaders had been attacking her over the Inkandla report for "electioneering purposes and to position themselves for lucrative jobs after polls."

What seems reflective in Madonsela's tone, especially in light of the possible action by the CLEEBLAW, is fear of embarrassment and a sense and the view that she is above the law.

We are vindicated by the same report at the disposal of the world that the same report is a joke/ a fuss and a concocted after thought with no other reason but to play at a political terrain. For an example what the DA has coined as an advert "R246 million" is copied from page 6 of the report and is a thumb sucked number which is found wanting in mathematical computation. Put simply, the Public Protector cannot count and so is DA. In page 6 the Public protector proudly writes (to the world)

 More items were added to the project after the concerns were raised in 2009, bringing the cost from the initial R65 million, which was the subject of complaint in 2009, to R215 million, which has since been spent, while outstanding work is currently estimated at R36 million bringing the envisaged total cost to R246 million.

To show that this is a thumb sucked report with a lot of thumb sucked and unverified computations. To the Public Protector R36 million added to R215 million amounts to R246 million, not even a grade R child can be so poor in arithmetic. To a normal human being R36milion plus R215 million equals to R251million. The issue is, given such a glaring lie, how does the Public Protector correct this and other lies forming part of the content of her report. Especially given the fact that some people and organisations have already acted being motivated by what is in the report.

Another very simple reason why the Public Protector's report should be viewed as nothing but a "JOKE OF THE SENTURY" and therefore qualifies to be set aside is the fact that she herself admits that she presented/issued a report knowing very well that she had not concluded her business. In page 108 of her report under 5.1.titled, The scope of the investigation, the public protector has this concession to make:

5.1.1. The investigation focused mainly on the period from the date that President Zuma took office on 9 May 2009 to the end of July 2013. The substantive scope focused on compliance with the law and prescripts in regard to implementation of the security measures installed and implemented and the propriety of the conduct of the President and others involved in the Nkandla Project.

5.1.2. Due to the lack of resources in my office, the delays in the investigation and the other challenges referred to in this report, it was not possible to investigate every allegation and suspicion of impropriety that was raised by different role players that were approached and engaged.

5.1.3. This investigation did not include accessing bank statements and telephone records of people with questionable relationships. Among the suspicions raised were favouritism in the selection of and overcharging by service providers contracted by the DPW and improper benefits that may have been provided to officials in return for the awarding of contracts.

5.1.4. Fortunately, the Proclamation issued by the President on 20 December 2013 mandated the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) to investigate, inter alia, overpayments and duplicate payments made to the suppliers of the DPW in respect of the Nkandla Project and any actual or potential benefits received by officials of the DPW due to their interest in the awarding contracts to certain suppliers.

5.1.5. Section 5(6)(b) of the Special Investigations and Special Tribunals Act, 1996 provides that the Public Protector may, if she or he deems it appropriate, refer any matter which comes to her or his attention and which falls within the terms of reference of a Special Investigation Unit, to such Unit.

5.1.6. I have accordingly decided to alert the SIU of the allegations and suspicions referred to above to the SIU to investigate further in terms of the said Proclamation.

If the Public Protector has just ARLETED the SIU to investigate what she had no CAPACITY to investigate (pricing, overcharging etc.), and given that the SIU has not reported on its business, how a hell can she begin to report? What is she reporting about? Is this a full report or part of the report and how exactly is society to approach this report?

Not only is Public Protector's report does in a mission society to mislead and shape the thinking of society to accept her exaggerated view about the upgrades in the private residence of the president through flaws and inconsistencies, but it also misleads the public by either selective quotation of or quoting out context a number of statements and court decisions. For an example in page 4 under the topic executive summary she makes the following quotation:

"Given the very humble beginnings of this project, nothing short of a full township establishment is now required..."

The idea she is trying to drive and mislead the public on is that the Director (architectural services) of the department of public works was complaining that the project was being made unnecessarily big and expensive "from humble beginnings to a township" when actually the Director was indicating that they have under budgeted because they did not understand the complexity of the project in question and quoted correctly, the director said

"An item of major concern is the budget, which has assumed gigantic proportions, given the fact that:

A more comprehensive overview has only now become apparent;

The project is quite extensive, given the number of buildings to be erected, and

Given the very humble beginnings of the project, nothing short of full township establishment now required with all the civil services yet to be put in place, inclusive of roads, storm water, potable water, telephone and electricity, standby power, security fencing, etc., and the list is growing, and

Compliance with statutory requirements with reference to interventions made in the landscape has yet to be costed and included in the budget." (emphasis added)

Again in the same page she makes this quotation:

"Our government is the potent, the omnipresent teacher. For good or for ill, it teaches people by example... If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man [person] to become a law; unto himself..."

Justice Louis D Brandeis, US Supreme Court Justice.

The above statement is misleading in two areas:

1. It sends a message that her findings must be equated with the decisions of the court of law when actually the methodologies of the two institutions are fundamentally different. As you'd later find out her findings are based on, in many occasions, telephonic interviews and meetings in which case the accused never get the chance to cross question the accuser, while decisions of court are a product of a rigorous process whereby law of evidence applies in reality.

2. The quotation she makes deals with improperly obtained evidence by state agencies in a criminal case in USA and it bears no relevance with this case.

Through the above quotations which are clearly selective and out of contexts, the public protector seeks to justify from the beginning the correctness of her chosen title of the report "Secure in Comfort" which drives an idea that the security upgrades undertaken at the President's private residence are more an issue of comfort than security.

The cover page for the report

From the front cover of the report the public is guaranteed not to get a fair and balanced reporting in the sense that:

a) The caption on the cover page exposes the public to the president's homestead after the upgrades and the public is deprived of the president's homestead before the upgrades. As things stand with regard to this caption it is expected to be concluded by society that the president had neither a kraal nor chicken run before the upgrades.

b) It is also not how forensic reports are presented to start with emotive tittle which is simply the opinion of the writer. The Public protector must present the report on "Security Upgrades at the President's Private Residents"(her mandate in this matter in any case) over to the public and let the public come to their desired conclusion.


The Public Protect is appointed by the president of South Africa - in the case of the present one- by President Jacob Zuma, after the recommendation of national Assembly ( Parliament)

This is not the only one of the offices appointed in this fashion; these are others: Human Rights commission, Commission for the promotion and protection of the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic Communities, commission for Gender equality, the Auditor General, the Election Commission. 

In other countries the Public Protector is just referred to as Ombudsman, Mediator, Commissioner, in the mandate is common and is to investigate in state affairs or Public Administration on the alleged improper conduct and report on that conduct ( to parliament) and take APPROPRIATE REMEDIAL action. Remedial means CORRECTIVE and not PUNITIVE.

This office assists in establishing and maintaining efficient and proper public administration. It's not a Court of law and therefore cannot take binding decisions but can only make recommendations or suggestions based in the main on the "opinion" of the Public protector"

There is a view that the public protector does not account anywhere and that is wrong - she accounts to parliament. That's why Section 2 (3) of the Public Protector's Act indicates that the Public protector may ask Parliament to allow her to "vacate his or her office when s/he is sick

Section 8 (20 (a) instructs the PP to report "in writing on all activities of his or her office to the parliament.

Why then does she report her activities (like Nkandla report) to the media?

She either intentionally or intentionally misread section 8 (2A) (a) of the Public protector constitution. She proudly states in her report that this Act instructs her to "issue report to the public", she is misreading the above section which reads:

"Any report issued by the public protector shall be open to the public unless the Public protector is of the opinion that exceptional circumstances require that the report be kept confidential"

Emphasis in the above section is on public having to access the report not that the public must be necessarily reported to directly to because that may amounts to anarchy and in disregard of institutions established for maintaining democracy. For an example how many people listened or watch her when she was reporting to the media (what about those who did not have access to radios or television). Today we have a problem with the report as it has not be presented to parliament but to the media. Section 181 (5) of the constitution of the Republic reads "These institutions are accountable to the National assembly (parliament) and must report on their activities...." the view by the Public Protector that parliament must write and request the report to her is ridiculous and in fact parliament must check whether it cannot prefer charges of misconduct against her, to me she is in breach of the constitution.

For some reason the South African Public protector has law that even the number one citizen (president) don't have. Section 9 of the Public protector Act reads


(1) No person shall

 (a). Insult the Public protector or deputy Public Protector

The wrong doer shall be liable for a fine not exceeding 40 000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months or both. Surely this section must be removed because it sends a wrong message that the PP office is different and more important than all chapter 9 institutions.


There are six categories for qualification arranged from the highest category to a bare minimum requirement.


The source of the excitement, especially of the opposition parties derives from this un-clarified and deliberately confusion of the terms of reference by the Public protector. The terms of reference as stated by Madonsela on this matter are: According to Madonsela (page 80) two complaints were lodged on the above subject as follows:

I.  A member of the public in 13 December 2011 by the member of the public who read Mail and Guardian of 11 November 2011 and requested an investigation on the allegations of impropriety relating to "state funded upgrades at president Zuma's private residence. She goes on and says according to M and G the president's private residence was being improved and upgraded at enormous state expense. Improvements included a network of air conditioned living quarters, a clinic, gymnasium, 20 houses for security guards, underground parking, a helicopter pad, playground and a visitors center. NB all this were alleged by the complainant to be happening, not alongside, not at the area around the president's private residence, but inside the president's private residence.

II.  Surprisingly the second complaint on the matter is lodged exactly a year later, 12 December 2012. While with the first complainant we were told s/he was the member of the public, the second complainant is not made known to us and mysteriously his or her complaint is not reported about throughout the report, WHY?

III.  The public protector introduces the third complainant ( DA Lindiwe Mazibuko), through a City Press article which says more than 203 million has been allocated for the project (President Zuma's Private residence), and the development includes;

a. Three sets of underground living quarters with 10 air conditioned rooms

b. A clinic for the president and his family

c. 10 houses for security personnel

d. A Helipad

e. And a house for South African Air force and SAPS

What is interesting is that the article comes out on 30 September 2012 and on the same day DA Mazibuko is able to write and sent to PP a comprehensive letter of complaint. Then there were three others on the same complaint. To the extent that they argued:

  " as the House in Nkandla is privately owned, the president should only be granted R100 000 of security measures, not the allotted 203 million."

IV.  Something strange also happens in page 8 of the report in the area referred to as executive summary. A totally new (fundraised) complaint is suddenly included from nowhere. Under the section (e) Madonsela interpret the complaints her own way and her own biased view. She writes" in essence the complainants alleges that"; and in (e) (3) she writes "the conduct of Zuma in relation to the implementation of the impugned upgrades at his private residence may have been unethical and in violation of the Executive Ethics Code.

In this case it should be noted that the PP herself informs us that there were only two complaints brought in terms of Executive Members' Ethics Act:

A. By L Mazibuko, a member of parliament and leader for DA - "She requested that i investigate allegations that members of the president's family improperly benefitted from Nkandla Project and that this constituted a violation of the Executive Ethics code.

B. By Prof De Vos who alleged that the president misled when he denied that the state paid for the construction of his house. However the good Prof had no Locus standi under this act as a result the Prof's complaint was investigated under the PP Act (whether that is permissible is another argument for another day)

So where a hell does the PP get to investigate the complaint on the conduct of the president because no one has raised it.

Laughably Madonsela in page 431 she fails to find reasons to substantiate that Zuma brothers benefitted from the upgrades. She clams to find substantiation in that Zuma's close family benefitted, and instead of apportioning blame to those responsible for upgrade she instructs Zuma to pay - but is this an ethical question because this matter was brought by DA Lindiwe as an ethical matter??

Laughable again in page 438 she brings back issue of ethical violation in relation to Prof devos allegedly president misleading parliament, on what basis, since she ruled the Prof as having no locus standi but even that she agrees the president said that in good faith. But as if that was not enough, she goes and fishes for a complaint that was never there (a figment of her own imagination), that Zuma should have protected the state resources, she claims shabbily and quite unreasonably that president was wearing two hats: that of the "Ultimate guarding of the resources of the people of South Africa (i.e. even those resources are not spelt out - was it cement, bricks etc. Bought by state for construction) and that of being a beneficiary of state resources and therefore should have asked questions on the scale, cost and affordability of Inkandla project (ridiculous!), ask who? The project manager?, the Director general of DPW?, the Ministers who proposed upgrades or the workers in the upgrades?. Madonsela finds that president's behaviour is inconsistent with the duties of his office trying to refer to section 2 of the code especially (2) (b) (iii).

Section 2 of the code says you can be in breach if you must have failed to meet obligations imposed by powers and duties of your office. Now the president does not have "protecting state resources" as one of his duties. The president's duties and powers are imposed by the constitution of the republic sections: 83 (a-c) and 84 (2) (a-k) and non-talk about Madonsela's dream of guarding state resources that is why there is the Minister of Finance or treasury as well as CFOs in all government departments.

This is one of the reasons that we argue that Madonsela exceeded her mandate and did not perform her work with the competence required. How does she account for the above mess?


Essence Madonsela was to investigate opulence in the security upgrades performed at the president's PRIVATE RESIDENCE, especially the assertion that more than 200 million was spend in the President's private residence. The items that were constructed and constituted the splurge were also mentioned.

In this case what was expected of the public protector was to which of the above alleged items formed part of the security upgrades found inside president's homestead and which one were not in the homestead because those do not represent funds or items that belong to president in which case if they were within his yard he was going to be accountable for them as they would be his. Instead of clarifying that as part of the mandate, Madonsela lists things that in her view do not constitute upgrades: Visitors area, cattle kraal, chicken run, and amphitheatre. What about other items counted to be inside president's private residence: 20 security guards houses, gymnasium, playground etc.

Not to clarify this becomes rich for Madonsela and those who love this report too much to analyse it. This failure to distinguish between work done inside the yard to the one done on the state land is expedient to those who gun for the president and ANC because it will leave a big cloud hanging on the head of president and the ANC, especially going on elections. Monies that are plashed around are 206 million, 215 million and 245 million - the picture is "too much money spent on Msholozi's house"

In her own confusing way, Madonsela tries to explain this figure. In page 6 (executive summary) she says the initial price noticed (early 2009) was 65 million, 215 million has since been spent and 246 million is envisaged to complete the project. She is obviously economic with the truth. This is the truth, R50 523 885 is the total amount paid on upgrades in the private residence of the president.


Style grammar and language

The style, grammar and language go a long way in reflecting the mood, attitude, prejudices and stereotypes of a writer. Accordingly writers of reports (especially forensic reports) are usually reminded of the fact that they must adopt a style that conveys facts and not attempt to write a novel in a story book style. Grammar in forensic report as your phrases/sentences cannot convey two or more meanings (or worse still no meaning at all).

Accordingly in Thuli Madonsela's report one does not find it difficult to conclude that this report was prepared under the mood of anger, frustration, and unhappiness. This is further supported by the fact that there are many phrases where she literally says she was frustrated as she believed she was under-resourced and this narrative dominates her report. She also appears to be very vindictive and fond of settling scores with those who challenge her office. This can be substantiated through page 89, 90, 91, and 92. In this case it may not be difficult to infer that the 14 day deadline she gave to the president to respond to her recommendations, note page 91 section 3.2.16

I have also considered that if time lines have an impact of the validity of an on-going investigation, it could be equally true that failure by the President to meet his 14 day timeline would absolve Parliament of its duty to entertain the President's report regarding how he has dealt with the Public Protector's report. This certainly could not have been the intention of the architects of the legislation.

The same tone expresses itself as she writes about the security ministers in page 93, 120, section and 5.2.93. her anger with the president and the presidency is laid bare. The reality is that the Presidency was part of the problem as were other organs of state regarding the delays. My team and I sat in silence when organs of state that had requested extension after extension to submit submissions in response to my Provisional Report said nothing when insults were hurled at my office by their colleagues or supporters in Parliament and civil society for allegedly sitting on the report in pursuit of a political agenda. The Presidency repeated the concerns in its final submissions despite having taken a cumulative period of 9 months to supply requested information. In fact, despite capacity constraints, the report should have been issued by the end of April 2013, if it were not for delays on the part of the state, including the Presidency.

What is worse and pathetic is the disrespectful manner by which she communicates with the president of the country as clearly demonstrated in page 208 , 6.8.9.

As the President's statement did not provide answers to most of my written questions listed above I replied to him on 8 October 2013, listing the outstanding responses that were required and stated that:

"I regarded it as prudent to provide you with an opportunity to respond to these matters as part of my investigation and it would be appreciated if you could still consider doing so, to enable me to include your version of the events in my report"

As far as your response in respect of my investigation into the complaint relating to the statement that you reportedly made to Parliament pertaining to the existence or not of a bond over your property is concerned, you will recall that I raised this with you when I informed you of my investigation, in my letter dated 29 January 2013.

I indicated in my said letter that the concern raised by the complainant is the impression that you might have violated the provisions of the Executive Ethics Code by misleading Parliament. I also referred you to the public statement of the Presidency of 20 November 2012 that the information pertaining to your bond would be made available to "an authorized agency or institution empowered by the law of the land". You will respectfully agree with me that this includes the Public Protector. 

In addition to the normal manner in which I approach investigations, I relied on the commitment in the Presidency's statement when I approached you with the request on this aspect of my investigation.

I accordingly wish to appeal to you to provide me with the relevant documents pertaining to the bond that you referred to. The information contained in these documents will be handled discreetly as it relates to your private affairs. All that I really need to verify in this regard is that the bond exists and that it relates to your private residence at Nkandla. Providing me access to the documents in the presence of your legal advisors or the Secretary to the Cabinet will also suffice in this regard.

Mbuyiseni Mathonsi is the Provincial secretary of SADTU and the Provincial Treasurer of SACP (KwaZulu Natal) and made this presentation on his personal capacity

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