Zuma’s architect demands SIU hand over Nkandla documents

Minenhle Makhanya, President Jacob Zuma’s architect filed a court notice on Tuesday, requesting the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) give him access to 40 documents relating to the R155-million claim it lodged against him for work carried out at the president’s Nkandla residence. 

The architect and project manager on the Nkandla project has filed notice of his intention to defend the action, which is certain to add to the President’s list of mounting headaches. 

The SIU is suing Makhanya for allegedly authorising and overseeing the implementation of improvements and installation of security measures at Nkandla, which it alleges was “in excess and beyond the security assessments and requirements” of the police and defence force. 

However, Makhanya’s attorney Barnabas Xulu told the Mail & Guardian that the SIU had not made its case clear. 

While Makhanya was the defending party, he had no documents to work with in order to state a defence, said Xulu. “We are saying to the Special Investigating Unit, you have not stated your case clearly,” he said. “To enable us to plead and state our defence, you have to provide us with these documents.” Only when he was provided with the essential documents would Makhanya be able to defend himself, said Xulu. 

Xulu said he believed most of the documents required by the architect are with the inter-ministerial task team which looked into the security upgrades at Nkandla, and the SIU which investigated the matter. 

In court papers filed in the high court in Pietermartizburg, Makhanya asked to be able to inspect the documents within five days, which would fall on Tuesday next week. “Take notice that the first defendant (Makhanya), for the purposes of pleading to the plaintiff’s (SIU) particulars of claim, requires that the plaintiff make available for inspection, within five days, documents listed herein below in its possession, and which are relevant to reasonably anticipated issues in the action, and allow transcriptions to be made thereof. 

The documents Makhanya is seeking from the SIU are:

1. A cabinet memorandum adopted by the national executive, which according to the particulars of claim relate to details of what Zuma was entitled to in the provision of security and protection for him and his family when he became president. 

2. A South African Police Service (SAPS) report on the security assessments performed. 

3. A South African National Defence Force (SANDF) report on its security assessments. 

4-5. All reports of site inspections undertaken by SAPS and the SANDF. 

6. All documents indicating the determination by the department of Public Works dof precise and estimated costs. 

7. A proposal document presented by SAPS to the Minister of Safety and Security, for his consideration and approval. 

8. Approval by the Minister of Public Works for the costs of the security measures. 

9. Proposed security measures and costs document presented by SAPS to the Department of Public Works. 

10. Cost estimate document submitted by a former director of the Department of Public Works, Ms N Mbukushe, to its Planned Maintenance Budget Committee in 2009. Mbukushe is alleged to have declared the work an emergency project. 

11. The Planned Maintenance Budget Committee’s authorization of the budget, which according to the particulars of the claim was in the order of R27 893 067.46. 

12. A supply chain management policy and procedures of the Department of Public Works. 

13. The request and motivation provided for the appointment of Makhanya by the Department of Public Works. 

14. A list of registered suppliers and database details of the Department of Public Works. 

15 – 20. Department of Public Works internal memorandums, planning instructions and bidding documents for all the consultants and contractors on the Nklandla project. Also required is a record of all the names of the adjudicating committee and records of decision. 

21. All contracts concluded between the Department of Public Works and each of the consultants and contractors relating to the security upgrades in the Nkandla project. 

22. All records of agreed billing between the Department of Public Works and the consultants and contractors. 

23. All Department of Public Works memorandums, internal communication documents and payment authorization relating to Makhanya. 

24. All bills, material specifications, and sizes approved in the period between 2007 and 2012 for the Prestige Projects, which included the guard houses, control rooms, on-site clinics, staff houses, crew pavilions, fence, specialized glass and glazing for other presidential residences and properties. These include Dube House in Durban, Genadendal in Cape Town, Mahlamba Ndlopfu in Pretoria and the Union Buildings in Pretoria. 

25. All SAPS requirements in relation to guard houses. 

26. Attendance registers of all Department of Public Works convened meetings, and minutes related to the Nkandla project, including meetings held with SAPS and SANDF and Makhanya. 

27. The same goes for all SAPS convened meetings on the Nkandla project. 

28. All declarations of secrecy and confidentiality signed by representatives of the Department of Public Works, SAPS, SANDF, and Makhanya. 

29. All signed progress payment certificates relating to the Nkandla project. 

30. All cost estimate reports prepared by the Nkandla Project quantity surveyor. 

31. All Department of Public Works internal memorandums and internal communications relating to the cost estimate reports. 

32. All authorisations by the Department of Public Works of the cost estimate reports. 

33. Motivations and cost allocation reports on Nkandla project for period 2010 to 2011. 

34. The Department of Public Works Manual, which the particulars of claim state held Mankhanya responsible for requesting approval from deviations. 

35. All drawings authorised by SAPS, SANDF and the Department of Public Works 

36. All variation orders submitted to the Department of Public Works for approval, including motivations. 

37. All documents and materials relied on by Makhanya in order respond to the particulars of claim and defend himself. 

38 All documents and material Makhanya will need as a basis for the SIU allegations of excessive payments, and above market-related payments. 

39. SIU final report on Nkandla, dated August 2014. 

40. And finally, a request for the Department of Public Works set of payment processing documents, authorising and signed certificates, which facilitated the payments to Ilangalethu Consulting CC, trading as R&G Consultants. The SIU claims these quantity surveyors were overpaid to the tune of R6 297 925.58. 

“All these documents are critical to us and without them, we cannot prepare my client’s defence,” said Xulu.

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Glynnis Underhill
Glynnis Underhill has been in journalism for more years than she cares to remember. She loves a good story as much now as she did when she first started. The only difference is today she hopes she is giving something back to the country.

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