A submission on the Nkandla ad hoc committee was made to the National Assembly on Wednesday (23/04/2014), the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution (Casac) said.
The ad hoc committee’s brief is to consider submissions by President Jacob Zuma in response to Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on upgrades to his private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal, totalling R246 million.
Casac’s written submission included concerns that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was “not competent to investigate the findings of the Public Protector, namely that the President acted in breach of the Constitution and the Code of Ethics”.
On April 2, the presidency said Zuma would respond to Parliament on Madonsela’s report on the upgrades to Nkandla, once he received a report from the SIU. Zuma had directed the SIU to investigate the matter.
Madonsela made her report on Nkandla public on March 19. Her findings included that Zuma unduly benefited from the upgrades and that he should pay back a portion of the money.
“His failure to act in protection of state resources constitutes a violation of paragraph two of the Executive Ethics Code and accordingly amounts to conduct that is inconsistent with his office as a member of Cabinet, as contemplated by Section 96 of the Constitution,” Madonsela said.
Casac submitted that Madonsela’s findings in this regard could not be probed by the SIU.
“Under the Constitution and the Executive Members Ethics Act, that is the responsibility of Parliament.”
Casac further submitted that the time limit for the ad hoc committee’s report, due on April 30, was extremely short and that the committee had not been given specific terms of reference.
“These factors may ultimately challenge the forensic ability of the ad hoc committee and place a question mark over the reliability of its findings or recommendations.” – Sapa