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ANC always said Zuma must pay back Nkandla money – Sizani

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The ANC parliamentary caucus always wanted President Jacob Zuma to #paybackthemoney, its outgoing chief whip Stone Sizani told the Mail & Guardian in an interview published on Friday.

“We have been consistent on our position that President Zuma needed to pay a portion of the Nkandla money in line with the public protector’s decision,” Sizani said this week.

In a lengthy interview about the parliamentary process of considering Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on upgrades to Zuma’s Nkandla home, Sizani added: “The ad hoc committee report in Parliament also supported the public protector’s recommendation that the president must pay back a reasonable amount.

“There was no two ways about this. If you disagreed with the public protector, you needed to take her report for a [judicial] review,” said Sizani.

He dismissed rumours that he was leaving his position because he had been critical of the Nkandla matter had been handled.

‘I stand by my Nkandla report’ – Nhleko

In contrast, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has reiterated that he stands by his Nkandla report, insisting that it was not proved incorrect, News24 reported.

At a press briefing on Wednesday on the Hawks’ investigation into the Sars ‘rogue unit’, he responded to questions on his credibility following his decision that President Jacob Zuma did not have to pay for multimillion upgrades at his private Nkandla homestead.

Last year, Nhleko presented a video-assisted explanation on why Zuma did not have to pay any money towards the non-security upgrades at his private home.

“The report was researched and if it is refuted, it requires that research be conducted. That hasn’t happened,” he said on Wednesday. “There has been no judgement against the report. It has not been set aside or found to be incorrect.”

President’s plan to #paybackthemoney

Last month, Zuma’s lawyer, Jeremy Gauntlett, conceded in the Constitutional Court that findings made by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on the upgrades to Nkandla were binding, and that no reliance should be placed on Nhleko’s report.

President Jacob Zuma and his lawyers proposed that the Constitutional Court appoint the auditor general and minister of finance to determine how much he should pay for certain upgrades to his Nkandla home, News24 reported.

“The president proposes that designated appointees… be appointed within 30 days of date of order to determine the reasonable portion of the reasonable cost of those features of the Nkandla upgrade project not reasonably related to security,” his lawyers said in a letter sent to the Constitutional Court registrar.

Also in February, a sworn statement by Netwerk24 editor, Adriaan Basson, said he was informed by credible sources in 2015 that the final SIU report, which effectively cleared Zuma of all blame, was sanitised to remove all evidence that implicated him in the “prestige project”, Netwerk24 reported.

[Source: News24]
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