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Amanda Khoza & Thomas Hartleb, News24
21 Jul 2015 16:07
So-called security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's residence have so far cost taxpayers R246-million. (Madelene Cronje, MG)
Security at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence
needs to be re-evaluated due to the public scrutiny it has come under, Police
Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko said on Tuesday.
In addition, the cost of the upgrades could still increase as the
investigation had forced some of the work to be halted, he told Parliament’s ad
hoc committee on Nkandla, in the KwaZulu-Natal legislature in Pietermaritzburg.
The committee, which includes members of the ANC, DA, ACDP and NFP, is
expected to visit Nkandla on Wednesday. It is studying Nhleko’s report—released on May 28—in which he said Zuma did not have to repay any of the R246-million spent on so-called security upgrades at Nkandla.
“This is exactly nwhat we are saying—that the security experts must go
back to assess the extent of the vulnerability and how the president has bee
exposed,” Nhleko said.
“We won’t know how much it will cost before this exercise is done. But
[with] the security issue, we will arrive at a different conclusion because of
‘We all know how this is going to play out’
FF Plus Chief Whip Corne Mulder pointed out that public protector Thuli
Madonsela had made recommendations for Nhleko to act on.
“We all know how this is going to play out.
You came to the
conclusion that the president was not liable for the upgrades.
Nhleko replied that Mulder did have a point, but that judges, for
example, were also appointed by Zuma and were not expected to make rulings in
“I think it’s childish and unethical to think that just because you are
appointed by someone that you can’t be critical of them. In the report that I
have produced, I stated clearly how I came to the conclusions.
“If these features are said to be security, I need to question why
they are. That is the exercise we are doing here. The fact is that there is
authority in place that said what must be done.
“My oath of office requires me to be honest in terms of my work.”
Nhleko said the amphitheatre and soil retention wall, visitors’ centre,
“firepool”, kraal and culvert, were all security features and maintained Zuma
did not have to pay for these.
This contradicted Madonsela’s own findings, released in March 2014, that Zuma should pay for those features not related to security, like the pool
and the amphitheatre.
Nhleko also told the committee that a kraal in the Nkandla homestead could not be moved due to Zulu culture.
Thus a new animal enclosure that included a culvert and a chicken run had to
be built in a remote part of the homestead so the animals would not trigger the
motion detector beams, Nhleko explained.
“In Pretoria we had a problem at Mahlamba Ndlopfu [Zuma’s official
residence] and the OR Tambo house. We had a problem with cats. The system
triggered false alarms and security personnel became despondent because of the
false alarms,” he said.
He said they consulted a retired University of KwaZulu-Natal lecturer, a Mr
Ntshangase, on whether the kraal, which also houses chickens, could be moved.
“He told us that a kraal was a sacred place, a place where meat is eaten, a
place to bury a loved one. He told us that it was rare to move a kraal and you
must have an exceptional reason to move a kraal.” - News24
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