THE long-awaited report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela on R206m worth of security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla residence in KwaZulu-Natal will be released on March 19, her office confirmed on Thursday.
Late last year, after a copy of the protector’s provisional report was leaked to the Mail & Guardian newspaper, the African National Congress (ANC) warned that should Ms Madonsela release the report close to the national elections on May 7 this year, she would open herself up to criticism that she was playing a "political game".
The ANC at the time said the leak came from her office, while Ms Madonsela said security cluster ministers also had access to the report.
The ANC’s largest region, eThekwini, said it would hold a protest march in Durban on Friday aimed at compelling Ms Madonsela to release the report and to "support" Mr Zuma.
In December, a government task-team report absolved Mr Zuma from using state resources for the Nkandla security upgrades. The report was released by Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe.
It justified several construction and improvement projects carried out on the property as essential to maintaining security, especially as the estate was located in a deep rural area where security risks were high.
The report admitted, however, that there were some supply-chain irregularities involving pricing and collusion. These irregularities were being probed by the police’s Special Investigating Unit.