Nhleko side-steps central issues with Nkandla Report - James Selfe

DA CFE says in his briefing to ad-hoc committee police minister failed completely to deal with the essence of the matter

Police Minister side-steps central issues with Nkandla Report

21 July 2015

The DA will tomorrow use the in loco oversight visit to further substantiate why the report by the Police Minister should be rejected on the grounds that it is both incomplete and at odds with the Constitution and due process.

This comes after the Ad Hoc Committee established to consider the Minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko’s report into the President’s liability for the upgrades to his private residence at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.

In his briefing to the Committee the Minister failed completely to deal with the essence of the matter – how and why upgrades were made that were not required by the Security Cluster, or were made far in excess of what was required.

The Minister’s report is basic, confined only to the four “cherry picked” issues gleaned from the Public Protectors report, namely: the swimming pool, the cattle kraal, the visitors centre and the amphitheatre

The Minister consistently denied that he was “singing for his supper”, while it was obvious that that is precisely what he is doing.

Our primary focus this week will be to challenge the legitimacy of Minister Nhleko’s report on the grounds that his report is born from a serious conflict of interest and fight to have the remedial actions ordered by the Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, in her report entitled “Secure In Comfort", enforced.

In his report, Minister Nhleko, contradicts the Public Protector’s report which is inexplicable in the first instance because it would be for him to take her remedial action on review- which is a function of the courts- if he disagreed with its findings and remedial actions.

Such a review application has not been launched to have the Public Protector’s remedial action set aside. Its findings therefore stand and must be given meaning to.

In fact, by assuming this responsibility, the Minister of Police potentially violated section 96(2)(b) of the Constitution, which reads as follows –

Members of the Cabinet and Deputy Ministers may not –

act in a way that is inconsistent with their office, or expose themselves to any situation involving the risk of a conflict between their official responsibilities and their private interests;

On the 23rd of June the DA tabled detailed submissions as to why the report by the Minister of Police has no legal standing and should be summarily rejected by the Committee. The reasons include but are not limited to the following:

The report assumes a status equivalent to that of the Public Protector, a Chapter 9 institution, that can only be challenged through a court of law.

It is poorly drafted, superficial and and is, in places, factually inaccurate.

In arriving at its conclusions, the Police Minister’s report obfuscates and contradicts the Public Protector’s and SIU’s findings, without rational grounds.

As a result of his conflicted position, the Minister inevitably produced a report that failed to rigorously address itself to his mandate. The report unsurprisingly and inevitably exonerated the President from any liability to repay any money.

In a fair society no individual should be above the law. We will be relentless in our pursuit to see that President Zuma is held to account for what amounts to the theft of public funds at Nkandla.

Statement issued by James Selfe MP, Chairperson of the DA’s Federal Executive, July 21 2015