Monday, August 12, 2013

Madonsela visits Nkandla as part of spending probe

PUBLIC Protector Thuli Madonsela confirmed on Monday that she had visited President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal as part of her probe into its upgrade.

Ms Madonsela is investigating whether state money was abused for security upgrades at Mr Zuma’s homestead. Last month, she was quoted as saying her report into alleged irregularities in the upgrades was 99% ready.

"The inspection (on Monday) was part of the public protector’s investigation into allegations of improper conduct regarding security upgrades at the property," her spokeswoman, Kgalalelo Masibi, said in a statement on Monday.

Ms Masibi said the public protector would ordinarily not reveal details of a pending investigation, in compliance with the Public Protector Act.

"The public protector is therefore only confirming her visit to Nkandla on the basis that the matter is already in the public domain," she said.

Ms Masibi said Ms Madonsela was still "waiting for a few bits of information" to complete her investigation.

"Upon receipt of the outstanding information, the public protector will finalise her provisional report, which will only be shared with the parties involved with a view to soliciting their comments," she said.

"Once the comments have been received, the public protector will consider them and, to the extent possible, factor them into the final report, which will then be released to the public."

The defence ministry had earlier said that Mr Zuma’s decision to allow Ms Madonsela’s visit followed a meeting with ministers in the security cluster.

In January, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said the government had spent R206m on upgrades and consultants at Nkandla.

- Sapa

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