Nkandla: FF Plus lays complaint against ministers with Public Protector

2016-02-05
Dr Pieter Mulder

The Freedom Front Plus has laid a complaint against the minister of Police, Nathi Nhleko, and the minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, with the Public Protector as well as the ethics committee of parliament for misleading parliament.

The report the ministers had compiled on Nkandla found that all the upgrades at Nkandla had been security upgrades. If president Zuma is now offering to pay a certain amount as a settlement proposal, the question arises as to what the president is paying for. Is he paying for the fire pool that is now a swimming pool? Then the relevant ministers misled parliament with their report that all upgrades had been security upgrades.

The Executive Members’ Ethics Act, 82 of 1998, prescribes that the Public Protector has to investigate breaches of the ethics code by members of the executive. The Act arises from Section 96 of the Constitution which determines how Cabinet members may act.

Section 2.3(a) of the Code reads: “Members of the executive may not wilfully mislead the legislature to which they are accountable.”

The FF Plus is of the opinion that the Public Protector should investigate whether the ministers had misled parliament or not.

Section 8.2 of the Code reads: “A member must assist the Public Protector in the performance of the Public Protector’s functions under the Act.”

Because ministers are also members of parliament, the FF Plus will also be asking parliament’s ethics committee to investigate their actions in this regard.

It is interesting that Mr. Zuma had signed the Executive Members’ Ethics Code on 20 July 2000 as acting president (Government Gazette: No 21399, Notice 41, Regulation 6853. Date 20000728).

 

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