The letters also fail to specify the ministers’ role over the course of several years in trying to hide facts and shield the president from accountability, the DA said.
The Nkandla matter refers to the upgrades at Zuma’s private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal Province, in which 246 million rand (about 17.3 million U.S. dollars) of public funds were allegedly abused.
A Constitutional Court ruling on March 31 found that Zuma violated the Constitition by ignoring the remedial action recommended by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela regarding payment to the security upgrades.
Zuma has apologized to the nation for “the frustration and confusion” caused by the project and said he is willing to repay part of the money, to be determined by the National Treasury.
The Presidency announced on Friday that Zuma had sent letters of reprimand to the ministers involved in the Nkandla matter, including Minister of Public Works, Thulas Nxesi, former Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, former Minister of Public Works and High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Geof Doidge.
The letters, which were published on Sunday, fall short of specifications.
“The reprimand should have been specific in nature ,specifying what each Minister did wrong,” DA leader Mmusi Maimane said.
He said the DA has forwarded these letters to its legal team, and has asked them to advise it on whether the letters constitute an adequate reprimand as envisioned by the Public Protector.
“If not, we will not hesitate to seek to compel the president to reprimand these ministers fully and thoroughly,” Maimane said.
“A reprimand should be a severe rebuke, and should be specific in nature. No South African will consider these letters as anything close to the reprimand that the Public Protector and the Constitutional Court had in mind. This is another insult to the public, and President Zuma is once again mistaken if he thinks this will draw a line under the matter,” Maimane added. Enditem