Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s Nkandla report, in which he introduced South Africa to the term “firepool”, was factually correct, he told MPs on Thursday.
“Unless you appreciate the value of research, the concept of research, then you will understand. Because that report as it stands, besides the parliamentary ad hoc committee, has never been interrogated by anybody in this country,” Nhleko said.
DA and FF Plus MPs on Thursday said he had manufactured the report, and called for him to apologise to the nation.
As Nhleko presented his budget vote in Parliament, opposition parties took the opportunity to criticise him for his report. In it he absolved President Jacob Zuma of any need to pay for the so-called security upgrades to his private Nkandla home.
He said the amphitheatre, chicken run, visitors’ centre, cattle kraal and swimming pool, which he called a ‘firepool’, were all necessary for Zuma’s security.
Not found guilty of anything
In its judgment on the Nkandla saga last month, the Constitutional Court called for Zuma to reprimand the ministers involved in the Nkandla issue.
Nhleko said he had never been found guilty of anything and said his report was factually correct.
“It is research for that matter. Not even a court went through that report,” he said.
FF Plus MP Pieter Groenewald asked Nhleko if Zuma had reprimanded him. He said this referred to ministers associated with the project at its inception.
Speaking over howling from opposition MPs, Nhleko said there was no line or verse in the Constitutional Court’s judgment stating there was something wrong with his report.
“The fact of the matter is we must be very careful as political leaders that we do no begin to articulate wrongly around the question of judgment to suit our own opportunist needs,” he said.