South Africa: Nkandla Probe for Next Parliament – Chantall Presence

Cape Town — A motion by the ANC to refer the investigation into President Jacob Zuma's response to the Public Protector's report on Nkandla to the next Parliament was passed on Monday.

"We want to do justice to this matter. That is why we are saying time is against us," ANC whip Doris Dlakude said.

"There is no reason we cannot refer this matter to the fifth Parliament."

The motion was passed with seven votes to three, with opposition parties strongly objecting to the move.

"This is a pretty shameful state of affairs. The ANC claims the committee does not have the time to do the work. We have yet to hear…

from the ANC on what the work is," said a very irate Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader, Lindiwe Mazibuko.

The meeting became heated when ANC MP Buti Manamela chided Mazibuko for using the word shameful and accused her of using the committee as an electioneering stunt.

"If we want the committee to work until the 6th of May, we'll be setting the committee up for failure," Manamela explained.

Dlakude accused opposition parties of having a pre-meditated outcome before the committee had even started deliberations.

"It seems they know what they want to achieve on this one. As the ANC we say we stick to our motion. We are not going to do something and then leave it. We want to do a thorough job," Dlakude argued.

Freedom Front Plus MP Corne Mulder interrupted her, shouting: "I don't believe you."

"It's quite clear what's happening. You want things discussed, just not before the 7th of May," Mulder said.

A counter motion by Mulder that the committee continue its work was dismissed.

Earlier, Mazibuko made a formal proposal to the committee that the Public Protector, the Special Investigating Unit, the author or authors of the security cluster report on Nkandla, the ministers of police, and defence, or the national commissioner for the SA Police Service or chief of the SA National Defence Force be called to give evidence.

"We are confident that you, like us, are keen to do justice to the mandate conferred on us by the Speaker, and that you will accede to this request."

ANC MPs objected to the proposal.

"These bodies are independent. It would be not correct for this committee to start dictating terms for what these bodies should do, especially the SIU," ANC MP Jonas Sibanyoni said.

The IFP largely supported the DA's proposal, but had questions on whether the committee could complete its work on time.

"For this committee to do its work, we need to have these people before the committee," Inkatha Freedom Party MP Narend Singh said.

"The uncomfortable question is can it be practically done in the time that is available? To call the Public Protector is not a matter of making a telephone call to say we 'want you here tomorrow'.

ANC MP Lluwellyn Landers concurred.

"The problem we are faced with… is that next Wednesday we are faced with an election. You can wish it away, you can pooh pooh it, but there it is and you are saying to us 'yes we can finish that work before that day'. I say to you, you can't," Landers said.

The ad hoc committee, established by National Assembly speaker Max Sisulu, was set to investigate submissions made by Zuma in response to a damning report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefitted from security upgrades to his Nkandla residence to the value of R246 million.