The National Employers’ Association of South Africa (NEASA) believes the findings of the Nkandla Report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has further tainted the country’s image both locally and internationally. Madonsela has found that President Jacob Zuma benefitted materially and undeservedly from upgrades to his private home.
‘Government has lost all credibility with the public at large as the findings call into question the state’s ability to govern properly and with accountability. This will also severely impact international investors’ confidence in the South African government ,’ says Gerhard Papenfus, NEASA CEO.
NEASA believes the report defies recent statements by government through the Minister of Finance that the state would tighten the reins on over-spending to, amongst others, deal with the current budget deficit. In November last year, the Auditor General reported that government's unauthorised‚ irregular‚ fruitless and wasteful expenditure during the 2012-13 financial year totalled R30,8 billion.
‘This report just adds coal to the fire and government should see this as an opportunity to positively and strongly reflect on the way forward. The streets are alight with angry and poor people, tired of corrupt and wasteful government officials making empty promises of a better live for all. It’s time to return credibility to leadership,’ he says.
NEASA beliefs the actions by Zuma should be seen as a symptom of a corrupt society.
‘The way in which society and government have dealt with corruption has laid the foundation for the actions by Zuma and members of his cabinet. Zuma should however take this opportunity to reach out to the nation and to take responsibility for his actions,’ Papenfus said.
NEASA urges the ANC to act responsibly regarding this matter and to refrain from public assaults on the Public Protector and her institution.
‘Attacks on an institution such as the Public Protector will only result in the public undermining these organisations, the work they do and the rule of law,’ says Papenfus.
Madonsela has recommended that Zuma repay some of these undue benefits and that he must explain himself to Parliament.
‘The South African public has a justifiable expectation that Parliament will sincerely demand answers from Zuma and that it will take the necessary action to ensure that the interests of the country’s citizens are protected,’ Papenfus says.
For more information:
Sya van der Walt-Potgieter
082 332 9512