When it seemed that the Nkandla saga has played itself out, it seems the opposition parties are not satisfied and would like more done. This came out in separate incidents over the weekend when opposition parties responded to the outcome of the ANC NEC meeting that was held over the weekend in Cape Town.
Zuma, facing the ANC’s top decision making body for the first time after the release of the now popular, much anticipated Nkandla Report aptly named ‘Secure in Comfort’ by the Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, was absolved of any wrongdoing in the misuse of over two hundred million rand of tax payer’s money. In fact, the highest body in the ANC identified the then minister of public works and his deputy as the main culprits. However contrary to Madonsela’s findings, the executive committee meeting also took to task the former minister of defence, Lindiwe Sisulu, for her involvement in the debacle.
In a scathing retort to the statement of the ANC NEC, Lindiwe Mazibuko, the DA parliamentary leader called the silence that President Zuma had adopted since the release of the report disgraceful. She said that the attempt to scapegoat ministers and deputy ministers while letting Zuma go scot free was a slap in the face of the constitution. Mazibuko added that the fact that more than two weeks after the release of the report, there has been no apology, no explanation and no accountability was a reflection on the president’s lack of integrity and that of the party he leads. The fiery DA leader pondered how Zuma could look his colleagues in the face after using them as scapegoats in a case in which he was clearly implicated.
Not to be outdone, the leader of the opposition Congress of the People (COPE) was worried by president Zuma’s silence after he had been implicated in the Public Protector’s report. He was speaking at a rally for his party in Modimolle in Limpopo. He urged voters to think about Zuma’s behavior when they went to vote in the upcoming elections.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented statement, the Deputy President of the ANC Cyril Ramaposa has described the office of the Public Protector as ‘sacrosanct’, adding that an attack on Madonsela’s office would be viewed as disrespect of the constitution. He added that the ANC respected the Public Protector’s office in the same way they respected all the other Chapter nine institutions.