The Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi has accused the Democratic Alliance of engaging in publicity stunts at the expense of President Jacob Zuma’s security. He was referring to the bid by the DA to declassify the report on the security upgrade at the president’s private residence in Nkandla. It has been widely reported that more than R 200 million was spent to ensure the safety of the president at his homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.
Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA Member of Parliament, took her party’s concerns to the Western Cape High Court. She applied to have the decision to classify the report overturned. This particular report provides specific details about the security upgrades and at present, it is being scrutinized by the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence in parliament. The JSCI consists of representatives from different political organisations and also includes members of the DA.
Nxesi said: “The truth is that the DA is so obsessed with the president to such an extent they cannot differentiate between their own narrow political interest and the public interest.” He is of the opinion that the DA will do anything to garner votes for the elections next year. The minister thinks it is in the best interests of the DA and the public to wait for the report that will be released shortly by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Madonsela’s report will establish if taxpayers funded the upgrades and renovations to the president’s home.
Two months ago, The Public News Hub quoted the Public Protector when she said that the report was drawing close to a conclusion. Though she has yet to share her findings, one of the details which became public knowledge is that the budget for landscaping was in the region of R 14 million.
Minister Thulas Nxesi spoke as if the DA is the only entity that has an interest in the matter. He went on: “That has nothing to with the public interest. The electorate cannot be fooled by a minority party that does not have their interests at heart.” However, contrary to the minister’s opinion, the comments from the public on social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and various other online platforms suggest that the public is indeed very interested in the report.
Twitter user @PhumeMchunu tweeted: “@DA_News’ Parly Leader @LindiMazibuko wants that #Nkandlagate report and I’m down with her, sifuna ukwazi Mr President! No more concealing.” Another user, @khosene said: “Mdluli saga, nkandlagate, e-tolls, NPA-DA-JUMA rape case, Marikana massacre and many more are elements of shut down.” A user with the Twitter handle @BeverMc tweeted her support of Lindiwe Mazibuko’s court bid: “Go Lindiwe, you have a nation (well almost) behind you!” Thirty Twitter subscibers retweeted a remark by Sihle Ngobese who uses handle @SihleDLK when he said: “Lets tell President #Zuma that we are a democracy, NOT a ‘fihla-society’. I support @LindiMazibuko’s quest for the truth on #Nkandlagate!”
South Africans continue to wait for the Public Protector’s report even if it will have some information removed from public attention to protect, yet again, the safety and security of President Jacob Zuma.