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05 Jul 2013 00:00
Jacob Zuma's demanding deadlines influenced costs at Nkandla. (Madelene Cronjé, M&G)
In a rowdy debate in the National Assembly on November 15, President Jacob Zuma distanced himself from the process that resulted in the state spending huge amounts on upgrading security at his Nkandla home.
Expressing anger at being portrayed as corrupt for security expenses foisted on him by the state, Zuma said: "There are two different things: my homes that are built by me and my family, and the security features that the government wanted ... to satisfy their own requirements … These are matters that the government ...
don't ask me, don't ask me."
But documents obtained by amaBhungane cast some doubt on the president's reply – though there are significant gaps in the material released.
The Nkandla documents
Nkandla: Number One emerges a clear winner
The Nkandla files: Project railroaded from the start
Long battle to get hold of redacted Nkandla documents
Nkandla: An orgy of kowtowing
The Nkandla files: Secrecy obsessions betray political sensitivities
At a progress meeting on June22 2011 in was agreed that "[Minenhle] Makhanya (the architect) would meet with the principal and present the fire pool".
A high-level document dated March 18 2011 relating to the allocation of costs between the state and the president noted: "It may be necessary for these issues to be discussed with the principal as the financial implication directly affects him."
Records of these discussions with "the principal" are not included in the documents released by public works.
Zuma's spokesperson, Mac Maharaj, did not respond to questions about the president's involvement in the process.
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The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) produced this story. All views are ours. See www.amabhungane.co.za for our stories, activities and funding sources.
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