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I’m not carrying can for Nkandla, says former minister

Former deputy public works minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu has disputed the government's inter-ministerial report on President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead, the Sunday Times reported.

The report, which was released earlier this week, recommended that she and former public works minister Geoff Doidge be investigated.

The pair served in those positions when the Nkandla upgrade began in 2009.

Bogopane-Zulu told the newspaper she was "annoyed and irritated" for being implicated in some form of wrongdoing regarding the R206-million security upgrade to Zuma's house.

"I have not seen the report at all," she was quoted as saying.

"I was never interviewed or asked anything and for me … logic says when you do an investigation and people are mentioned in a report, you give them an opportunity [to respond].

"None of the ministers spoke to me … so the authority to put my name [in the report] — I don't know what informed that," she told the newspaper.

'Let them investigate'

Bogopane-Zulu and Doidge welcomed the investigation.

"I'm told that the report is recommending that I be investigated by the Special Investigating Unit and the auditor-general, so let them investigate and report," Doidge told the paper.

Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi told a press conference on Thursday that Zuma did not ask for the upgrades nor was he briefed on any of the costs involved.

Flanked by other security cluster minister, Nxesi took full responsibility for "the project", he said.

A separate report, compiled by public protector Thuli Madonsela, was to be released soon.

Madonsela had interviewed both Bogopane-Zulu and Doidge in her investigations.

"President Zuma did not ask for security installations. As per normal procedure, SAPS [the South African Police Service] and department of defence conducted a security assessment, as per their mandate," said Nxesi on Thursday.

"It is important to understand this process because this is where ultimate responsibility for the upgrade lies. It is the responsibility of the department of public works to implement the recommendations from the security cluster and to manage the costs of the project in line with the Cabinet policy of 2003. Attempts to lay the responsibility for the upgrade at the door of the president are misdirected." – Sapa

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Sapa
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