President Jacob Zuma must face prosecution for his part in allowing state spending on Nkandla to spiral out of control. This was said by the president of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema on Thursday when he was addressing the parliamentary ad-hoc committee on Nkandla.
Malema argued that it was important for president Zuma to pay back the money that was used in the construction of his homestead. He added that this was necessary as it would show that Zuma was not only involved but he also gave instructions and also promised protection to those who were directly involved in the building of his home.
Malema added that despite the fact that he was the direct beneficiary of the upgrades, Zuma had also failed in his duty as the country’s Chief Executive Officer to protect state coffers from being looted.
The overspending on Nkandla was first highlighted by the media some years back when it became evident that the security upgrades were going way over their set budget. Several investigations have been conducted on this with findings that are mostly in agreement. The most prominent of these is the one done by the a Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, who found that Zuma and his family benefitted improperly from the upgrades. Her recommendation was that the president should repay a portion of the more than R246 million that was spent.
An inter ministerial committee was also set up to take up the same probe with the same result. Further, a Special Investgations Unit also came to the same conclusion. In his response to parliament, Zuma left the decision of whether he should pay back the money to one of his appointees, Police Minister, Nkosinathi Nhleko. However, the EFF would have non of this and, in a question and answer session in parliament, they piled on the pressure on Zuma to commit to a date when he would pay back the money. This did not go down well with the speaker of parliament, Ms Baleka Mbete who ordered the members of the opposition and their leader to leave the house. When they wouldn’t budge, the speaker called for an adjournment of the sitting. The MPs that were affected by this have since been issued with letters to appear before the Parliament Powers and Privileges Committee.