ANC votes against Nkandla accountability
2 June 2015
Today is a great loss for executive accountability as the ANC majority in Parliament blocked the DA’s amendment that sought to include the report by the Public Protector entitled “Secure in Comfort” in the terms of reference of the Nkandla Ad Hoc Committee.
The amendment also sought to compel the Committee to summon at least the President of the Republic; the Public Protector; the Minister of Police; and the Minister of Public Works to appear before the Committee.
The DA has therefore voted against the establishment of the Ad Hoc Committee as it is clear from its narrow terms of reference that this Committee, like its predecessors, will be nothing more than a smokescreen to shield the President from any and all responsibility.
The DA will engage in the parliamentary process to hold the President to account. Failing the ANC’s willingness to have meaningful engagement on this issue we will have no compunction in pursuing all available options to make sure that the President is not allowed to get away with the theft of public funds.
The DA believes that the Minister’s report cannot be considered in isolation, and that the Public Protector’s findings that the President must repay a fair portion of the costs of the project must be upheld.
The report compiled by Minister Nhleko, wherein he absolves the President of any liability for the undue benefit he received from the upgrades to Nkandla, is constitutionally fatally flawed, biased and manifestly irrational.
As a member of the Executive, the Minister of Police has no authority to overrule the remedial action prescribed by the Public Protector, a Chapter 9 institution with specific standing in our Constitution, as per Judge Schippers’ ruling on 24 October 2014.
Moreover, the Minister has a personal interest in absolving the President because this is the very person to whom he owes his appointment. The Minister is clearly intent on not biting the hand that feeds him.
The DA will not be co-opted by the ANC into legitimising the President’s evasion of accountability.
South Africans need Parliament to perform its constitutional duty and get to the truth of this matter once and for all.
Statement issued by DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, June 2 2015