Nkandla: The letter that shows Zuma was aware of the upgrades
The M&G is publishing a letter that dispels Thulas Nxesi's insistence that Jacob Zuma knew nothing of the R200-million upgrades to his Nkandla home.
The letter, containing a detailed progress report for presentation to President Jacob Zuma, was sent on November 5 2010 by the department's minister at the time, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde. It stipulated the work done on the security installations at Zuma's private residence.
The letter forms part of a number of documents that the M&G reported on last year, which showed that Zuma was indeed provided with exhaustive details about progress on the Nkandla security project in November 2010. This was after he stated in Parliament that he was not aware of the scale of construction on the project.
On Sunday Nxesi told journalists that after a ministerial investigation into Nkandla's funding, there was no evidence that state monies were used in its upgrades. But he confirmed over R200-million had been used on security measures after the property had been deemed a national key point. He added that Zuma was not aware of any details regarding the upgrades.
The documents, which referred euphemistically to the Nkandla expansion as "prestige project A", revealed how Zuma's supposed private contribution dwindled by half from more than R20-million to slightly more than R10-million, while the total costs more than doubled.
They also showed that state funds were spent on buildings for the personal use of the Zuma family and not only for new, adjoining security infrastructure, as claimed by the department of public works when first confronted about the R250-million spent on Nkandla.
The renovations at the president's rural residence became a bone of contention in 2012, when it was reported that over R250-million of public funds would be used for the upgrades.
The report instituted by Nxesi confirmed the state paid R206-million for the security measures.
According to the report, R71-million was spent directly on security, while a further R135-million was spent on operational costs incurred by state departments involved in the upgrade.