Calls for Zuma’s im­peach­ment

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

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.

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