The release of the report by police minister Nathi Nhleko last week, and its determination that President Zuma is not liable for any non-security upgrades to his private residence at Nkandla, has been met with dismay by the Justice and Peace Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The Justice and Peace Commission is an advocacy body established by the Catholic Church to fight for social justice and human rights.

Bishop _Abel Gabuza

“There are a lot of legal and constitutional matters that are being contested in relation to the Nkandla affair. As a 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 in this case) on one person and on non-security items highlighted by the public protector’s report. We therefore appeal to the president to show ethical leadership and take some responsibility for the runaway expenditure on the Nkandla project.” stated Bishop Gabuza, the chairperson of the SA Justice and Peace Commission.

Bishop Gabuza added that the SACBC Justice and Peace Commission is also concerned about the far-reaching impact that the Nkandla affair will have on the national efforts to end corruption and achieve moral regeneration. “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.” says Bishop Gabuza.