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Nkandla report raises more questions

By Staff Writer
At a meeting of the National Press Club on Tuesday, Minister of Police Nathi Nhleko highlighted that 21 houses for security staff were built on President Jacob Zuma’s homestead, Nkandla. The cost of building these houses has been calculated into the R216 million that has reportedly been spent on security upgrades to Nkandla.
 
Nhleko has pointed out that there are certain aspects of the upgrades at Nkandla that require further investigation, as some of the costs that have been attributed to security upgrades, do not fall into that category.
 
When Nhleko presented his Nkandla report at the end of May, he concluded that President Zuma did not have to pay back any of the money that was spent on upgrades to his personal residence. A stark contrast to the report issued by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in 2013, which found that Zuma and his family unduly benefitted from the upgrades made to Nkandla, and that he should pay back some of the money spent on the upgrades.
 
Where did the money go?
 
The security upgrades to Nkandla only cost R71 million according to Nhleko, and included the firepool, amphitheatre, cattle kraal, chicken run, culvert and visitors’ lounge, which he determined to be necessary security upgrades.
 
The remaining amount of the R216 million was used to pay consultants (R20 million), and a total of R135 million was reportedly spent on the construction of 21 houses for security staff and a clinic.
 
The 21 houses for security personnel reportedly cost approximately R6 million each to build, yet these houses now stand empty, and it is not clear who authorised them to be built.
 
Nhleko conceded that the construction of houses for security staff were not a security requirement. He noted that an investigation into who authorised the construction of these buildings needs to be conducted, as well as why the cost of building these houses was included in the total sum that was spent on security upgrade to Nkandla.
 
However, Nhleko has noted that investigating these issues goes beyond the directive that he was given. He stated that he was only tasked with investigating the cost of the security upgrades made to Nkandla, and whether or not these were necessary.
 
For more information on Nhleko’s Nkandla report, click here.

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