8 April 2014
The Security Cluster Ministers have studied the report by the Public Protector relating to the upgrades at the President’s residence at Nkandla. Based on this, there are several areas on which we require further information and clarification. A letter has been sent to the Public Protector in this regard and we will now wait for her reply.
We have already welcomed the Public Protector’s report that there was no political interference in the implementation of the security upgrades. However, we require clarity about certain aspects of the Public Protector’s report.
We believe it would be disrespectful to the Office of the Public Protector to go into precise detail of our communication with her office at this time. However, suffice to say we have sought clarity on some areas which we believe are confusing and became evident in our detailed reading of the report. The next step is for the Office of the Public Protector to respond, after which we will be able to make a more informed decision on the way forward.
The Office of the Public Protector has an enormous responsibility to ensure its findings are factually accurate and consistent with the law. We, as part of government, have a responsibility to study this report and if necessary seek clarity on aspects of the report that require clarification in the spirit of intergovernmental relations and cooperation.
We reiterate our support the institution of the Office of the Public Protector, considering it and other Chapter 9 institutions as vital to the health of a democratic society. However, this does not mean that Government has no right to seek clarity on areas of the report which would seem to be confusing. Such interactions are universal with regards to similar types of ombudsman reports in any democracy.
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