Tag Archives: Zuma

South Africa – two Nkandla tours but no answers

Mail and Guardian

Both parliamentarians and selected media have now been inside Nkandla, but no group has emerged with answers to the most important questions.

Both tours have to date failed to address Madonsela’s finding that Zuma was guilty overexpenditure on the Nkandla project. (Madelene Cronje, MG)

ANALYSIS

On Sunday, the gates to the presidential homestead in rural KwaZulu-Natal were cracked open just wide enough to admit a small group of journalists to what the presidency considers the publicly-funded areas of the core compound.

The group included no representatives of the Mail & Guardian, nor any from City Press, the two newspapers most responsible for bringing the spending of public money there to public attention since December 2009.

As was the case when MPs were granted access last week – the first access ever granted to anyone not in the employ of the state or a Chapter 9 institution – the official media tour did not include the actual residences of the Zuma family, instead being limited to outside areas and structures built from scratch by the state. Through that omission it neatly avoided problematic features such as the (state-funded) air-conditioning units noted by investigators from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in a report first made public in September 2014.

The media tour also did not include any answer from President Jacob Zuma on burning questions, such as why he initially told public protector Thuli Madonsela he was willing to repay taxpayers for the cost of building a larger cattle kraal (which he requested because the size of his herd had increased) then tacitly recanted.

Both tours – and the ongoing deliberations of Parliament’s ad-hoc committee on Nkandla – have to date failed entirely to address Madonsela’s finding that Zuma was guilty of an ethical breach for failing to protect state money from wild over-expenditure on the Nkandla project. Nor have any of the events and discussions addressed the findings of the SIU that Zuma’s personal architect and his agent in his dealings with the state on Nkandla was responsible for an enormous waste of taxpayers’ money – some of it money diverted from allocations where it would have contributed to regenerating city centres and protect against the disaster of dolomitic sinkholes.

Instead, the tours and deliberations have brought focus on the poor state of repair of state infrastructure in and around Nkandla and the often shoddy workmanship of the initial construction.

For the ANC, apparently hellbent on protecting Zuma from personal liability, this has served to undermine the narrative of comfort and luxury bought for Zuma and his family at state expense, even though the actual living conditions of the family have never been on show.

For the opposition, the Democratic Alliance in particular, the poor construction and upkeep have presented an opportunity to hark back to its primary election message: that the state under the ANC is incapable and wasteful. With Nkandla unlikely to sway voters in upcoming local government elections and with Zuma not in contention in the national elections that will follow, the opposition has shown a distinct liking for this broader criticism of the government, even at the price of turning Zuma into a perceived victim of graft and state ineptitude rather than a recipient of largess.

That leaves only Madonsela’s office insisting that Zuma must take some personal responsibility and make at least token amends and that only through what Madonsela has herself described as soft power, limited to persuasion by public shaming.

And it leaves unaddressed the structural problems of a system in which a President is responsible for policing his own ethics, and where half a decade of state misspending and overspending can pass without any public representatives being held to account.


South Africa – Accountability Now lays corruption charges against Zuma and Masutha

News24

2015-07-21 08:47

Justice Minister Michael Masutha (GCIS)

Justice Minister Michael Masutha (GCIS)

Johannesburg – Charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice have been laid against President Jacob Zuma and Justice Minister Michael Masutha over the R17m payout to former National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Mxolisi Nxasana, Accountability Now director Paul Hoffman said.

The civil complaint was laid at Ocean View police station in Cape Town on Monday, Hoffman said.

The charges are in terms of Section 9 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act.

Accountability Now is a registered NPO that works to keep political leaders accountable for their actions.

He explained that the Constitution says the NDPP must act independently and without fear or favour. There must also not be any interference in the functioning of the NDPP.

In May a commission of inquiry into Nxasana’s fitness to hold office was called off at the last minute by Zuma’s office and it was later reported that Nxasana had received a R17m settlement to leave.

No reason was given for Nxasana’s departure and he has since been replaced by advocate Shaun Abrahams.

Corrupt activity

Accountability Now believes the settlement is allegedly a corrupt activity and could be a contravention of Section 9(2)(d) of the Act.

This is because it allegedly shows favour to Zuma by vacating office rather than pursuing charges relating to his home in Nkandla, or the charges that were dropped against Zuma after his former financial adviser Schabir Shaik was convicted of corruption for facilitating a bribe to Zuma from an arms company.

Shaik is on parole.

The organisation included allowing ”certain well connected wedding guests” to land at Waterkloof Air Force Base – a reference to guests landing at the base in a private jet to attend a Gupta family wedding – and ”defeating the ends of justice by spiriting [Sudanese President Omar] Al-Bashir out of the country” to its complaint.

Bashir managed to leave the country after an African Union summit, in spite of an order to all border posts preventing his exit pending an application to have him handed to the International Criminal Court to face accusations of crimes against humanity and genocide.

South Africa – Police minister Nhleko says Nkandla security needs checking and could cost more

The ANC and its ministers, led from the top by the avaricious and amoral Zuma, are quite unbelievable in their mindless trampling over the country and use of its resources as their personal property, KS

 

Mail and Guardian

Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko has said that security at the president’s residence needs to be reassessed, which could result in further costs.

So-called security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's residence have so far cost taxpayers R246 million.

Security at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence needs to be re-evaluated due to the public scrutiny it has come under, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko said on Tuesday.

In addition, the cost of the upgrades could still increase as the investigation had forced some of the work to be halted, he told Parliament’s ad hoc committee on Nkandla, in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature in Pietermaritzburg.

The committee, which includes members of the ANC, DA, ACDP and NFP, is expected to visit Nkandla on Wednesday. It is studying Nhleko’s report—released on May 28—in which he said Zuma did not have to repay any of the R246-million spent on so-called security upgrades at Nkandla.

“This is exactly nwhat we are saying—that the security experts must go back to assess the extent of the vulnerability and how the president has bee exposed,” Nhleko said.

“We won’t know how much it will cost before this exercise is done. But [with] the security issue, we will arrive at a different conclusion because of the re-evaluation.”

‘We all know how this is going to play out’

FF Plus Chief Whip Corne Mulder pointed out that public protector Thuli Madonsela had made recommendations for Nhleko to act on.

“We all know how this is going to play out. You came to the conclusion that the president was not liable for the upgrades. The truth, minister, is that your appointment depends on this because you are looking into the same person that appointed you.”

Nhleko replied that Mulder did have a point, but that judges, for example, were also appointed by Zuma and were not expected to make rulings in his favour.

“I think it’s childish and unethical to think that just because you are appointed by someone that you can’t be critical of them. In the report that I have produced, I stated clearly how I came to the conclusions.

“If these features are said to be security, I need to question why they are. That is the exercise we are doing here. The fact is that there is authority in place that said what must be done.

“My oath of office requires me to be honest in terms of my work.”

Nhleko said the amphitheatre and soil retention wall, visitors’ centre, “firepool”, kraal and culvert, were all security features and maintained Zuma did not have to pay for these.

This contradicted Madonsela’s own findings, released in March 2014, that Zuma should pay for those features not related to security, like the pool and the amphitheatre.

Sacred kraal

Nhleko also told the committee that a kraal in the Nkandla homestead could not be moved due to Zulu culture.

Thus a new animal enclosure that included a culvert and a chicken run had to be built in a remote part of the homestead so the animals would not trigger the motion detector beams, Nhleko explained.

“In Pretoria we had a problem at Mahlamba Ndlopfu [Zuma’s official residence] and the OR Tambo house. We had a problem with cats. The system triggered false alarms and security personnel became despondent because of the false alarms,” he said.

He said they consulted a retired University of KwaZulu-Natal lecturer, a Mr Ntshangase, on whether the kraal, which also houses chickens, could be moved.

“He told us that a kraal was a sacred place, a place where meat is eaten, a place to bury a loved one. He told us that it was rare to move a kraal and you must have an exceptional reason to move a kraal.” – News24

South Africa – NUM endorses Ramaphosa and Mantashe to succeed Zuma

Mail and Guardian

Regional leader Mpho Phakedi wants Cyril Ramaphosa and Gwede Mantashe to become the next president and deputy president of the ANC and the country.

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa. (AFP)

Mpho Phakedi, the provincial secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers’ largest region, PWV [Gauteng], might differ with deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa’s new e-toll dispensation, but he believes the former unionist-come businessman is the right man to lead the ANC and the country after President Jacob Zuma’s term in office ends.

The NUM regional leader also said he would support ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe to take over as Ramaphosa’s deputy when the party holds its elective conference in 2017.

Both Ramaphosa and Mantashe previously served NUM as general secretaries. The two ANC leaders delivered speeches at the NUM national congress at the weekend.

Phakedi’s PWV region played an instrumental role in the election of Free State provincial secretary David Sipunzias NUM’s new general secretary on Saturday – a move which is expected to shift the balance of forces within the labour federation Cosatu ahead of its special national congress this month.

Zuma’s successor
Some within the ANC prefer African Union Commission chair Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to replace Jacob Zuma as president. Those that have been mentioned for the position of deputy president include ANC policy head and minister in the presidency Jeff Radebe, ANC treasurer general Zweli Mkhize and Gauteng ANC chair Paul Mashatile.

Cosatu and its affiliates have in the past played a significant role in influencing the leadership direction in the ANC. The federation supported Zuma’s election during the ANC’s national congress in Polokwane in 2007.

Phakedi said while he differed with Ramaphosa on the issue of e-tolls, he regarded him as one of the greatest leaders the ANC has ever produced.

“He [Ramaphosa] is one of the most matured leaders within the ANC. His experience in business and the trade union movement comes as an advantage for him. It has been the tradition of the ANC that the deputy president takes over as president. Ramaphosa and Mantashe still have a huge support within the NUM. I don’t see anything wrong with Mantashe becoming deputy president,” said Phakedi.

Ramahosa became ANC deputy president in 2012 after then-deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe declined the nomination for the position and contested Zuma for the position of president instead.

Since being appointed as Zuma’s deputy after last year’s general elections in May, Ramaphosa has taken over some important roles in government. These include the responsibility to fix problematic parastatals like Eskom, the South African Post Office and South African Airways. He was also tasked to deal with the controversial e-tolling system, which has divided the ANC-led alliance.

E-tolls
Ramaphosa announced the new dispensation for the implementation of the e-toll system last month, which included reduced tariffs for motorists and discounts on outstanding e-toll bills.

Phakedi and other unionists want a total scrapping of the e-toll system.

Ramaphosa’s detractors are hoping his political career will be tarnished by the outcome of the Marikana report.

Lawyers for the wounded and arrested Marikana workers want Ramaphosa to face criminal charges for his role in the August 2012 Marikana shooting.

Zuma has promised to release the Marika report before the end of this month.

South Africa – Zuma shocks them until they’re numb

Mail and Guardian

No 1’s strategy: Shock them till they’re numb

05 JUN 2015 00:00 TINYIKO MALULEKE
The president appears impervious to the effect of his outrageous remarks and behaviour.

   

  In Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s novel Americanah a key character, the Romeo in the story, is a cultured young man with a middle-class upbringing by the name of Obinze. He ends up as an expatriate toilet cleaner in London. One day at work, Obinze gets the shock of his life “to discover a mound of shit on the toilet lid, solid, tapering, centred, as though it had been carefully arranged and the exact spot had been measured”.
Stunned, Obinze stands before the perfectly misplaced contents of human bowels, wondering what kind of an English person would do such an unEnglish thing. In his outrage, Obinze takes off his toilet-cleaning gloves and quits.
We react differently to shocking acts, scandalous utterances, outrageous performances and chilling discoveries. South Africa has become a country with an uncanny penchant for the outrageous – a country alive with the possibility of excess and shock. It would be neither correct nor fair to attribute this national talent solely to President Jacob Zuma, but it must be said that he is a great asset in this regard.
The Zuma political strategy of choice is one of excess, outrageousness and shock. As Steve Biko once observed, the main strategy of the apartheid police towards blacks seemed to be “harass them, harass them”; the Zuma strategy appears to be “shock them till they’re numb”.

Some of the most outrageous things that have occurred in the land have a direct causal link to him and his person. Other shockers simply derive inspiration from him before forking off towards their own destructive destinations. Few leaders, political or corporate, have had half as many shocking things done or said by them, of them, for them or on their behalf. I will return to this theme later.
First, we must hasten to say that Zuma is not unique, either here in South Africa or elsewhere. That is not to suggest, as some lazy thinkers sometimes do – often with naked racist intent – that Zuma is bad because he is black and, “like the rest of them”, he can’t govern. I suggest that we render unto Zuma what is due to Zuma.
Yet even Zuma has stiff competition at home and abroad. He has, for example, nothing on Allister Sparks’s “smart” South African politician, Hendrik Verwoerd. Nor does he come close to John Vorster and PW Botha and their sheer ability to sow fear and mayhem. Internationally, Zuma also had considerable competition in the form of Sepp Blatter, who has gallantly, if also shamelessly, led Fifa from ignominy to ignominy for decades and will take until at least December to leave the stage.
Nor are those to whom Zuma has generously given this occasion to criticise the ANC correct to reduce that gallant movement of the people to Zuma or any single individual, Nelson Mandela included. That is, of course, not to gainsay that the movement is indeed in grave danger of losing its way and its place.
All this is meant to say that the Zuma flair for the outrageous and the excessive must be appreciated in context. Part of that context is a country that has not disappointed when it comes to its own share of excess and outrageousness, reaching a crescendo in the lead-up to and during the Zuma presidency. Who can forget that day in April 2008 when Mokotedi Mpshe, then the acting national director of public prosecutions, announced the dropping of all charges against Zuma – and unleashed the Zunami upon us?
In August 2012, from the comfort of our homes, we watched the first post-apartheid massacre, in Marikana, unfold before our eyes.
The nation was shocked when its born-frees found a cause, and succeeded in getting the University of Cape Town’s statue of Cecil John Rhodes removed. Even more shocking to the nation was the realisation that (the) Rhodes (statue) had been sitting in that prime position, pretending to be thinking, with a smirk on his face, for the past 21 years.
  Zuma’s outrageous list of faux pas, in word and in deed, are legendary. In a seemingly rushed and poorly contextualised book, Clever Blacks, Jesus and Nkandla: the Real Jacob Zuma in His Own Words, Gareth van Onselen tried to compile a compendium of the choicest Zuma bloopers. But Zuma is so prolific in the production of slip-ups and gaffes that even this book, published in 2014, is already outdated.
  Similarly, Max du Preez and Mandy Rossouw’s The World According to Julius Malema has been overtaken by time and Malema’s ability to manufacture one-liners and hyperbole. Both books make great South African toilet-reading material.
The highest or lowest point – depending on one’s vantage point – in the evolution and execution of the Zuma strategy came on May??28, when Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko released his Nkandla report on the so-called security upgrade, at a cost of R246-million to the South African taxpayer, of Zuma’s private homestead. Surely, this will go down as the most outrageous report delivered by government since the end of the apartheid era. With Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi by his side, making lively, agreeable faces while moving his reading glasses comically on and off, Nhleko stoically read his report like a loyal and disciplined cadre of Jacob Zuma.
The report was designed to finalise a long-established security cluster and ANC strategy to relativise and ultimately discredit the report of the public protector on Nkandla, particularly its recommendation that Zuma should pay back a portion of the money used for the nonsecurity aspects of the upgrades to his private homestead.
To back up his findings, Nhleko showed a hilarious amateur video about how Zuma’s “fire pool” works. He also had a video-recorded interview with a cultural expert who “unpacked” the complex notion of a modern Zulu homestead. He quoted the “authoritative” Wikipedia to shed light on the imperial Roman origins of the Nkandla amphitheatre.
Unsurprisingly, Nhleko found that the Nkandla swimming pool, chicken run, cattle culvert, the amphitheatre and the double-storey house called a visitors’ centre are not what they seem to be. They are essential and strategic security features in the great national task of providing protection to Number One.
  Not only did Nhleko come close to blaming the media and the public protector for “the magnitude and intensity of scrutiny that … Nkandla … has been subjected to”, he also added a bullish parting shot: “The outstanding security-related work at Nkandla should be funded and completed expeditiously,” he said. Thixo wase Nkandla! (God of Nkandla)
I take my hat off to those who have tried to verbalise and articulate their dissent, shock or outrage over Nhleko’s report. But I also notice how many of them seem to fail dismally at matching the Zuma/Nhleko levels of outrageousness without sounding worse than they do, or insane, or both.
  The genius of the Zuma shock strategy is to get his detractors to foam at the mouth and choke in anger or disgust before they can finish a speech. It is precisely in the frequency of their reference to Nkandla (or any other Zuma scandal) that they begin to sound monotonous, hapless, inarticulate, ridiculous, uncreative, hateful and too obsessed (with Zuma). Take, for example, Adriaan Basson’s book titled Zuma Exposed. What can anyone do or say to expose Zuma that Zuma and his lieutenants have not done already?
Nkandla cannot be out-scandalled. No words of outrage will express the scandal in terms worse than those already captured by Nkandla itself. When his detractors are worked into a frenzy, as they stampede to insult Zuma, the Zuma strategy of shock and awe is working beautifully.
It is often at this stage of the combat that Zuma turns on the heat and deploys some sarcasm, deriding his opponents for having finally succeeded in learning the pronunciation of one African word. In Parliament he mimicked political novice Mmusi Maimane’s speech about a broken president. He laughed at the Economic Freedom Fighters’ filibustering tactics.
And, as the jaws of his detractors and supporters drop in synchronised shock, Zuma belts out his famous belly laugh.
“How can he laugh like that at a moment like this?” we ask one another. Let me give you five reasons why Zuma laughs. One: He laughs because he can. Yes, he can! Two: He laughs because derision and sarcasm are an essential security feature – Nhleko missed this one – of his tried and tested political strategy. Three: He laughs because he is arguably the most powerful ANC president since democracy began. Four: He laughs because the joke is not on him. Five: He laughs because he is having fun – at our expense.
Tinyiko Maluleke is a professor at the University of Pretoria. The views expressed here are his own

South Africa – opposition urge ANC to avoid “looking like fools protecting the president” over Nkandla

Mail and Guardian

Opposition parties urge the ANC to “do the right thing” by agreeing to the amendment and to avoid “looking like fools protecting the president”.

The DA has proposed an amendment to include Thuli Madonsel's report on Nkandla to the Nkandla ad hoc committee. (Gallo)

NKANDLA AD HOC COMMITTEE

What was meant to be a simple motion for the formation of the Nkandla ad hoc committee on Tuesday turned into more than an hour of heckling, declarations, divisions and voting as opposition parties fought for public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report to be included in the terms of reference for the committee.

This after the Democratic Alliance proposed an amendment to the ruling party’s motion, which called for the establishment of the ad hoc committee to consider police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report on Nkandla, which found that the president did not have to pay back a cent for the security upgrades to his KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

The DA’s proposed amendment to the motion was to include the report by the public protector entitled “Secure in Comfort” in the terms of reference of the Nkandla ad hoc committee.

The amendment also stipulated that the committee call President Jacob Zuma, Madonsela and the police minister to appear before the committee.

With the Economic Freedom Fighters, the Freedom Front Plus (FF+) and the African Christian Democratic Party calling for the ANC to agree to the amendment, and DA MPs shouting that Nhleko’s report was a shameful whitewash, the parties lost the battle after declaring their reasons why they felt the police minister’s report should not be the only one covered.

FF+’s Corné Mulder said the motion was unacceptable as it stood.

“I’m just saying to the ruling party, ‘think’. Because in the end you will all look like fools protecting the president instead of doing what is the right thing to do.”

The motion for the establishment of the Nkandla ad hoc committee was passed after opposition parties lost the bid to include the public protector’s report by 88 votes, and the original motion was carried with 103 members voting against and 192 voting for it.

Last year, opposition parties walked out of another Nkandla ad hoc committee after they said their views were not considered. That committee later cleared the president of any wrongdoing.

The new ad hoc committee will comprise of 14 voting members, eight from the ANC, three from the DA, one EFF member and two members from other parties.

It will also have 16 non-voting members, of which five will be from the ANC, two from the DA, one EFF and with eight designated by the rest of the other parties.

PARLIAMENT BUDGET VOTE

The Economic Freedom Fighters took their SARS case victory dance to the legislature podium during Parliament’s budget vote on Tuesday, while official opposition Democratic Alliance used the time to get their own back at President Jacob Zuma for his “Nkaaandla” mocking comments last week.

Calling the EFF leader the future president of the country, party chief whip Floyd Shivambu said Sars had wanted to use the insolvency act, to sequestrate him and make sure he is taken off Parliament.

“And the court excellently demonstrated to them that there is not necessity to use the insolvency act, because once you use it, and sequestrate a member of Parliament, a credible leader, and future president of this country, they are going to make him incapable of occupying office.

“They wanted to make sure the commander in chief of the EFF is no longer a member of Parliament. They wanted to prevent him from coming here to Parliament to speak on behalf of the workers.

“They wanted to prevent him from coming here to hold the executive accountable. To say to the president of the ANC that he must pay back the money. They wanted to prevent him from saying the obvious, that the ANC government killed and massacred workers in Marikana.”

Condemning the president’s mockery of opposition parties during last week’s presidency budget vote, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said barely a week ago, the President stood at this very podium sneering, “Nkaaaandla, Nkaaaandla, Nkaaaandla”.

“While this did however make a change from his usual refrain of ‘angazi’ ‘angazi’ ‘angazi’ it did nothing but undermine his credibility and authority. The president criticised Members of this Parliament for not being able to pronounce certain words correctly, well here’s some President Zuma struggles to even say, let alone pronounce: Accountability, Transparency, Responsibility, Ethics, I am guilty, Here’s is the money I am paying back to the South African people.”

ANC chief whip Stone Sizani, constantly referring to former President Nelson Mandela in his address, said the ruling party has been consistent in prioritising the vulnerable in the society.

With the Democratic Alliance MPs getting louder through his speech as he made examples of opposition parties going to the court to reverse decision made in the House, Sizani said their idea of being in opposition was exhibiting anti- government behaviour, which was not a problem, but how it choose to do this though, was a problem.

“The reliance on the courts to contest critical issues in this Legislature is undoubtedly as a result of a lack of or absence of the ideological need to engage with content and substance. But if one has to question why would opposition parties seek refuge at the courts instead of engaging and providing convincing arguments, one could say it is because they suffer from a poverty of ideas, if you will.

“In many established democracies, mechanisms exist to allow for interaction between the respective arms of government to avoid judicial encroachment in the internal arrangements of Parliament. Should the trend of scrutiny of internal processes of Parliament by the Judiciary continue, it could in future present a serious constitutional crisis.”

He lost his cool when DA MPs kept heckling through his speech, calling on them to engage politically and to respect the person they are differing with.

Speaker Baleka Mbete said this Parliament was an embodiment of what is possible when a nation decides to unite and choose a future of hope and progress.

“Our vision for the 5th Parliament is that of “An activist and responsive people’s Parliament that improves the quality of life of our people and ensures enduring equality in our society”.

In providing orientation for our work in the 5th Parliament and along the development path of the NDP, we have been influenced, amongst others, by the injunctions of the Constitution, the quest for Parliament to serve the people by supporting the Members and the desire to fulfil the needs of our people.”

Chairperson Cedric Flolick said the budget for the catering for committees needed to be reduced as it had become excessive, and more committee rooms were needed as the cost of conducting meetings outside was too high.

The Freedom Front Plus’ Corné Mulder said Parliament, which he said did not belong to the ANC, had failed the test of accountability.


South Africa – Zuma pool makes fool of police minister

Sowetan

David Lewis‚ head of the country’s leading non-governmental anti-graft agency‚ Corruption Watch‚ has criticised Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report exonerating President Jacob Zuma of having to pay anything for the upgrades to his Nkandla home.

Nhleko yesterday concluded that upgrades to the home including a swimming pool‚ chicken run‚ cattle kraal and amphitheatre were all vital “security features” that the government should pay for.

Lewis said: “We are dismayed‚ but not surprised by the report and its conclusions. The report was commissioned by the president‚ the very person implicated in the scandal‚ from someone who owes his position to the self-same president. The report has no credibility and it will not bring closure to this whole sordid episode.”

He said that Nhleko’s report “cannot stand against the report prepared by the public protector” which was a “constitutionally empowered body led by a person of unimpeachable integrity and independence”.

“We have the spectre of another key minister having to protect his president by making a public laughing stock of himself by attaching his name and his high office to palpably ridiculous conclusions‚” Lewis said. “We have what is effectively an attempt to discredit the Office of the Public Protector. And no doubt we will soon witness another humiliating spectacle when this doctored report is placed before a parliamentary committee.”

Corruption Watch said in a statement that Nhleko’s report “highlights the current trend that allows‚ if not encourages‚ our leaders to act with impunity“.

“It further demonstrates a continual failure to hold our leaders accountable‚ most often at the expense of taxpayers‚ in spite of recommendations from institutions established to safeguard the very rights and interests of the general public.”