JOHANESBURG JUNE 5, 2015(CISA)– Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference have expressed dissatisfaction with the spending of state funds in the controversial upgrading of president Zuma’s private residence.
“We note with dismay the determination in the report released by the police Minister Nathi Nhleko last week that President Zuma is not liable for any non-security upgrades to his private residence at Nkandla,” the bishops said in a statement June 2.
The controversy arose from the fact that in addition to the costs to strengthen security measures of the home, the State shouldered the expenses for improvements such as a swimming pool and an amphitheatre.
“We therefore urge the president to show ethical leadership and take some responsibility for the runaway expenditure on the Nkandla project,” the bishops said.
Last week, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko said that these expenses are legitimate. Nhleko’s statement contradicts that of the Public Protector (an independent institution that has the task of monitoring the conduct of public officials).
Many legal and constitutional matters are being contested in relation to the Public Protector’s report on Nkandla.
“As the Church, our role is to remind our political leaders of their ethical responsibility. In this role, we wish to remind our political leaders that, at a time when millions of our people are struggling to make ends meet, it is morally unjustifiable for the government to spend excessive amounts of money – R246 million – on one person and on non-security items highlighted by the public protector’s report.”
The bishops have called on President Zuma to show ethical leadership and take some responsibility for the runaway expenditure on the Nkandla project.
“We strongly appeal to the government to make sure that the Nkandla saga does not diminish the capacity of the office of the public protector to fight corruption”, they said.
The bishops further urged the president to show ethical leadership and take some responsibility for the runaway expenditure on the Nkandla project.