Civil proceedings to recoup R155 million from the architect of Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead should get underway in the next few months, MPs heard. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/ANA

Parliament - Civil proceedings to recoup some R155 million from the architect of former South African president Jacob Zuma's KwaZulu-Natal homestead, Nkandla, should get underway in the next few months following several delays, MPs were told on Wednesday.

Briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on justice, Special Investigating Unit (SIU) head Lekhoa Mothibi said the withdrawal of architect Minenhle Makhanya's attorneys had meant they had to "almost start afresh with the new lawyers".

The SIU instituted the civil litigation after it was found that the upgrades to Nkandla were found not to be security-related by the former Public Protector. 

Zuma was later ordered to pay back R7.8 million because the upgrades had unduly benefited him and his family.

Read more: Nkandla architect fights claim

SIU legal counsel Gerhard Visagie told MPs Makhanya's new attorneys were now on board, meaning the trial could get underway in the next few months, barring any more delays.

"This matter has met with a number of what can only be called delaying tactics. The new attorneys are now on board. The case is well advanced," said Visagie.

"We are at the stage now where pre-trial conferences are being held. We anticipate that the civil claim should be set down within the next few months."

African News Agency/ANA