Public Protector's report on Nkandla should be released now - ANC

Gwede Mantashe expresses concern over regular leak of provisional reports by Thuli Madonsela's office

Statement of the National Officials of the African National Congress following an Officials Meeting held from 1st to 2nd December 2013

The National Officials of the ANC met over two days to review the work of the organization in preparation for the National Executive Committee meeting to be held on the 6th and 7th of December and the National List Conference to be held from 6th to the 9thDecember 2013. Both gatherings shall take place at St. George's Hotel, Irene.

This NEC meeting shall be an ordinary sitting of the NEC. It is the also last sitting of the National Executive Committee this year and is expected to receive amongst others the Political Overview from the President, the report of the National Working Committee dealing with organisational matters and the ANC's readiness in the 2014 elections campaign. The NEC will also consider preparations towards the 102nd Anniversary of the ANC and the launch of the ANC 2014 Elections Manifesto to be held on the 11th January 2014 at the Mbombela Stadium, Mpumalanga.

The National List Conference on the 8th and 9th December is a culmination of a robust and vibrant democratic process of selecting public representatives by the ANC. It is only the African National Congress that subjects its policies and selection of public representatives to a comprehensive and thorough process of democracy; a practical expression of our unwavering commitment to democratic processes, traditions and imperatives. It is only the African National Congress that delivers to the people of South Africa, an electoral product that is unquestionably a people's process.

The African National Congress commends and thanks all South Africans, our volunteers, members and structures for participating in their numbers in a thorough process to select their public representatives and for making known their views in the development of the ANC Election Manifesto, a people's manifesto.

The meeting of the National Officials further noted that the Public Protector's Provisional Report on security upgrades at the President's homestead in Nkandla was leaked to the Mail and Guardian. We are concerned with the regularity with which provisional reports from the Office of the Public Protector are leaked following a pattern of public engagements and public utterances by the Public Protector on investigations by her office before they are finalized.

The leakage of extracts of the Provisional report by the Office of the Public Protector can only be understood as seeking to undermine the confidence of the public in the process by not presenting the full facts on an investigation prior to creating a public perception. This in our view is a deliberate and misleading casting of aspersion on those being investigated, in this instance the President of the ANC.

We have taken cognisance of the fact that the findings of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team report commissioned by the Cabinet to look into the security upgrades at Nkandla, have been made public. We are also aware that the findings by Parliament's Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence on the same matter have also been released. We call for the full report, not only the findings, of the Inter-Ministerial Task Team to be released to the public.

The African National Congress equally demands that the final report by the Public Protector into the security upgrades at Nkandla be released to the public as a matter of extreme urgency. Following this, the ANC instructs government to make available to the public all the experts who decided and designed all elements of the security features at Nkandla. These experts must explain their decisions and designs in the public domain. This must be done to ensure that all and any queries that the public may have with regard to these particular issues are tabled and responded to exhaustively.

As the African National Congress, and we are sure society as whole, we want clarity from the Office of the Public Protector on the following as alleged by the leaked report and the nuances created around it in the media:

1. Did President Jacob Zuma request any security upgrades to his homestead?

2. Did the ANC President spend more than 200 million rands of state money on his homestead?

3. Did President Zuma request that a swimming pool and a kraal be built and that his wife's tuck shop be moved from its original position?

4. Did President Zuma request that bulletproof windows be put on particular windows and did he ask for the building of a waiting room at his homestead?

5. If not who made those decisions and who is accountable?

6. The ANC wants to know what was built on state land and who made this decision? Was it the ANC President?

7. How much was spent on the security upgrade at the homestead of the President and how does this compare with expenditure on the homes of other Presidents

We express our deep regret and concern at the behavior of the Office of Public Protector with regard to this protracted matter. Recently the Public Protector accused the ANC of being quiet when previous utterances by the media suggested that her report would exonerate the President. This allegation exposes the strategy but fails to remember that we strongly condemned even such insinuations at the time.

It is for the reasons above that as the ANC, we reiterate our demand that the final report, not leaked snippets, is released to the public with immediate effect by the Office of the Public Protector. Any further postponement of the report's release allows this matter to fester in the public domain as we approach the elections. This can only be construed as a delaying tactic and a political ploy to create negativity around the image and the integrity of the President of the ANC and the African National Congress itself.

Statement issued by Gwede Mantashe, ANC Secretary General, December 3 2013

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