The country’s main opposition, the Democratic Alliance, has interrogated the fact that many days after it started its work on investigating the spending of more that a quarter of a billion rand on upgrading the rural home of President Jacob Zuma in the now notorious Nkandla in KwaZulu Natal province, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), seems to be dragging its feet about it. The member of parliament for the DA, Mr Joseph Selfe, expressed concern at the fact that the SIU had cited ‘certain circumstances’ that were beyond its control as the cause of its failure to finalize the report on the President’s Nkandla home.
The president went under intense scrutiny from both the private and public media and institutions when it came out that the initial security upgrades to his home had gobbled up more than R200 million of taxpayers’ money. This originally came out through The Mail and Guardian and was later taken up by the Public Protector, who found that the President and his family had improperly benefited from the upgrades. She further recommended that the president make an attempt to pay back a portion of what had been spent on his home. In his response, the president set up a parliamentary sub-committee to prepare his response for him. However, the whole report was politicized and polarized with the result that it was at some point called ‘an attempt to muddy the election waters’. It was then recommended that the Special Investigating Unit prepare its own version of the Nkandla report.
According to DA’s Selfe, it is at this point that the SIU, when it is due to present its report, it appears to be dilly-dallying and pussy-footing around the issue. The SIU, which had announced that it would be ready to release the report by the end of June, had also confirmed by 12 June, that it had presented its report to President Zuma. However, Boy Ndala, the SIU spokesperson, indicated that due to circumstances beyond its control, it could no longer meet this deadline of the end of June. Responding to this, Selfe said that the people of South Africa had the right to know about these ‘circumstances’. Ndala only said that they hoped the report would be out soon.
The DA representative emphasized that if the public did not gain access to this report, it would constitute a cover-up of the whole Nkandla saga. He emphasized the fact that the DA would not allow this to happen.