ANC distances itself from chief whip’s comments on Nkandla

The ANC has distanced itself from comments made by outgoing chief whip Stone Sizane on Nkandla, in an interview published in the Mail & Guardian on Friday.

Sizane said that the ANC parliamentary caucus always wanted President Jacob Zuma to #paybackthemoney.

“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.

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.

Ina statement the ANC said:

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip notes the story in the Mail & Guardian regarding alleged remarks made by former Chief Whip Cde Stone Sizani regarding the ANC Parliamentary Caucus’ purported views on the Nkandla matter.

The views do not represent those of the ANC Caucus.

The ANC in Parliament reiterates its view that the matter of Nkandla, including its handling by Parliament, is amongst the matters currently before the Constitutional Court and a judgement in this regard is pending. We therefore await the outcome of the Concourt, which we shall implement as a sound and authoritative constitutional guide on these matters.

The Constitution of the Republic, amongst others, enjoins Parliament to serve as a forum for consideration of matters of national importance. All the reports that Parliament considered relating to the Nkandla matter, including the public protector’s “Secure in Comfort”, are matters of national importance, and we thus believe that Parliament was within its rights to independently consider them and express a view.

As we have repeatedly emphasized, both inside and outside of the parliamentary ad hoc committees, parliament’s consideration of these reports and its recommendations did not in anyway seek to replace, rewrite or second guess that of the public protector. Parliament has no powers, and indeed it was never the mandate of the ad hoc committee to do so, to alter the reports of the public protector or any other chapter 9 institution.

We believe that Parliament did what it ought to do in line with its understanding of its Constitutional obligations. We therefore await the judgment of the Concourt, which will provide authoritative Constitutional guide on how Parliament must deal with such matters in future.

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

More on Nkandla

ANC always said Zuma must pay back portion of Nkandla money – report

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ANC distances itself from chief whip’s comments on Nkandla