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Zuma ‘seized’ with Nkandla report

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

President Jacob Zuma File picture: Chris Collingridge

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma was still working on a report on costly upgrades at his Nkandla home, his spokesman said on Thursday.

“President Jacob Zuma is still seized with preparing the report to the Speaker on the upgrades at his Nkandla home, as undertaken to the Speaker of the National Assembly,” spokesman Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

“The president will submit his report as soon as possible after receiving all the necessary information required for the preparation of the report.”

Parliament had been informed, he said.

On July 5, the ANC chief whip's office said Zuma had indicated he would provide the Speaker, Baleka Mbete, with a final and comprehensive report within 30 days.

This would be after he received the provisional Special Investigating Unit (SIU) report.

In April Zuma controversially declined to respond to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's findings that he had derived undue benefit from the R246 million security upgrade at his home in KwaZulu-Natal. It included an amphitheatre, a chicken run, and a swimming pool.

She recommended Zuma pay back part of the cost out of his own pocket.

At the time, Zuma said he would wait for the SIU's work to be completed. Last month he said he was perusing the agency's provisional findings and would respond within 30 working days.

On July 10, SIU head, Vas Soni said the report on upgrades had been delayed in part because investigators only gained access to the property earlier in July, more than six months after the probe was launched.

Soni told Parliament's justice portfolio committee it pained him the report was being held up by two difficulties the SIU encountered.

The first was access, the second a lack of co-operation from two people. He declined to name them.

Zuma signed a proclamation on December 18 last year giving the SIU the go-ahead to investigate “intentional or negligent loss of public money” at Nkandla. - Sapa


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