Friday, February 8, 2013
Protector hustles to finish Nkandla report
A public protector probe into the R200m upgrade to President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, could be completed at the end of March.
"We are aiming to conclude it [the report] by the 31st of March, if everything goes according to plan," Protector Thuli Madonsela told reporters in Pretoria on Thursday.
"We have only started to do more now, at the beginning of this year, because we didn't have an investigator who had free hands."
Madonsela said her office would "not place much emphasis" on a report by the department of public works into the upgrade.
"We will request it from the minister... because we do want to see their take on it," she said.
"It wouldn't hamper the investigation we are doing if we don't get that report... [however] we have our own list of documents that we want."
Last month, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said the government spent R206m on security upgrades and consultants for Nkandla.
Included in this amount, was R135m for the "operational needs" of various government departments, R71m for consultants, and security features such as bullet-proof windows, security fencing, evacuation mechanisms, and fire-fighting equipment.
Also included in the total was R26m, to make changes to the project (variation orders).
Nxesi said the task team investigating the spending found irregularities in the appointment of the 15 service providers and consultants who worked on the project.
State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele said at the time that neither Zuma nor his family had any input on the security upgrade.