Calls for Zuma’s impeachment
were adamant that Zuma and everyone involved in the multimillion- rand upgrade to his Nkandla homestead should be prosecuted. If this did not happen, it called on people to demonstrate outside Parliament on February 13.
Impeachment is the process by which an official is accused of improper conduct, and can result in his/her removal from office and criminal charges.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, according to the Mail & Guardian, also recommended that Parliament call Zuma to account for violating the Executive Ethics Code in that he misled the legislature when he said his family had paid for all structures not related to security, and for failing to protect state resources.
Among items not linked to security were a swimming pool, visitors’ centre, amphitheatre, cattle kraal, marquee area, extensive paving and houses for relocated relatives.
This work had been done at “enormous cost” to the state.
Meanwhile, Mthembu stressed that a task team report commissioned by the Public Works Department had cleared Zuma of benefiting improperly from work done at Nkandla.
That was however in stark contrast to the reported findings of Madonsela’s provisional report.
According to the Mail & Guardian story, Madonsela had found – subject to possible changes after she receives feedback from affected parties, including Zuma – that the president derived “substantial” personal benefit from the work, which exceeded security needs, and must repay some of the R215m spent so far.
Zuma had also intervened to ensure his private architect and builders contracted by him were appointed to complete the work done at state expense.
Since his architect, who oversaw the entire project, was paid a percentage of the total cost of the project, he had an interest in maximising its scope, the Mail & Guardian reported.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said the party had set a precedent when it recalled then- president Thabo Mbeki from office before his term had expired, and should do the same with Zuma. “If they don’t want to do that, that means the ANC will be on trial,” he said.
DA parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the revelations were so damning that Zuma should face “the most severe sanction”, should they prove to be correct.
Agang SA spokesman Thabo Leshilo said Zuma should repay “every rand of public money improperly spent”.
But Mthembu appealed for everyone to wait for Madonsela’s final report.
Madonsela’s spokesman, Oupa Segalwe, said the documents cited in the M&G report “are not ours” and could not have come from her office.
Government spokeswoman Phumla Williams said the security ministers wished to “reiterate the integrity” of the Public Works report, which had “established” that no state funds were spent on improving Zuma’s houses at Nkandla.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj declined to comment.