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Nkandla corruption exposed

Crime & Courts

Johannesburg -

The R206 million upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private residence was fraught with corruption – with several companies and persons awarded tenders without the required security clearance.

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President Jacob Zuma's homestead at Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal. Photo: Bongiwe Mchunu

And there were tenders galore because when it comes to Nkandla, even Zuma’s chickens and cattle are catered for because their living places were also identified as a potentially high-security risk in “a politically volatile” Nkandla.

These are some of the findings of a special report by the joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI) into the Nkandla security upgrades, released on Thursday.

The findings were drawn from the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) task team report into the controversial expenditure.

The report was released a few hours before the security cluster ministers abandoned their court case against Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, which was supposed to have been heard on Friday.

The 36-page document paints a disturbing picture of the flouting of mandatory procurement procedures.

“Supply-chain management policy and prescripts were not fully complied with (in) the procurement of goods and services related to the project,” the report reads in part.

Another finding was of an unnamed firm employing foreign nationals, which is contrary to government security provisions and legislation.

The report also identified Minenhle Makhanya Architects from Durban as Zuma’s privately appointed architect, who had no security clearance to manage the Nkandla project.

Zuma was implicated by Madonsela’s court papers.

This has raised questions that he might have misled Parliament in June, when he denied that he had anything to do with the upgrades.

The report confirms the R206m splurged on the Nkandla upgrades, but exonerates the DPW in the expenditure. “There is no evidence that the DPW paid for the construction of houses of the president,” the JSCI found.

In a veiled attack on Madonsela, the committee condemns the launching of “parallel” investigations, saying unnecessary costs were incurred as the DPW had already launched an investigation.

The report justifies and lists “compelling” crime factors, especially rape, for the security upgrades.

It also raises fears of a political assassination because of “a volatile political situation” in Nkandla.

The list includes an amphitheatre, “high security cattle culverts (kraals) and “chicken roosting areas”.

Cluster security ministers have buckled under tough resistance from Madonsela and agreed to respond to her interim report at Zuma’s home by Friday’s deadline.

Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj could not be reached for comment.

[email protected]

The Star

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