Tuesday, October 8, 2013
High court rules that DA Nkandla application is urgent
The Western Cape High Court ruled that a DA bid for a report on the upgrade of President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead is urgent, the party said.
Democratic Alliance parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko said the application would be heard on February 18 next year.
"This is a victory for accountability and transparency," she said in a statement.
"We look forward to arguing our case before the Western Cape High Court next year and trust that the report will finally be made public so that all those responsible for looting the public purse are held accountable."
Mazibuko approached the court on September 30 to obtain an order compelling the public works department to provide her with a copy of a task team report detailing the more than R200 million security upgrade at Zuma's private homestead at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal.
"This was following the questionable rejection of my application to gain access to the document through the Promotion of Access to Information Act."
The DA argued that the matter needed to be heard urgently because the "Nkandlagate scandal and its subsequent cover-up" was a matter of public importance and that the report was delayed for nine months since being finalised.
"This report must contain information that is of considerable interest to voters who will be voting for their public representatives next year," Mazibuko said.
Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said last Tuesday that the application was about scoring political points.
Nxesi said the report was presented to Parliament's joint standing committee on intelligence -- a multi-party committee which includes the DA and representatives of other opposition parties.
Nxesi said proof that the DA had a political agenda was it citing Zuma as the third respondent in the matter. This was despite Mazibuko conceding that she did not seek any relief from Zuma.
"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 said.
Nxesi released the findings of the Nkandla task team in January, which found irregularities in the procurement process for the upgrade. The team recommended further investigation by authorities such as the Special Investigating Unit and Auditor General.
"The task team said that should they [the authorities] find unlawful wrong-doing, then the law enforcement agencies must ensure that the culprits face the full might of the law."