Security re-evaluation needs to be conducted in Nkandla

Cape Town - Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko says a security re-evaluation needs to be conducted at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla residence for all outstanding construction work to be completed at the home.

The Minister said processes were also underway to probe the inflation of construction costs at the President’s residence.

He said this when responding to concerns raised by Members of Parliament following their oversight visit to Nkandla, situated in KwaZulu-Natal, last week, to assess security and non-security upgrades.

The Ad Hoc Committee was set up by Parliament to consider the Police Minister’s report on Nkandla and recommendations in which he found that the President was not liable to pay any costs in relation to findings from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela that he unduly benefited from the project.

“We reiterate what has been stated by various investigative reports that outstanding work must be completed and that the security re-evaluation shall be conducted soon by a team of experts from law enforcement agencies.

“Such a process must strictly adhere to principles of project management, oversight and adherence to various prescripts,” the Minister said.

Ahead of the ad hoc committee’s visit to the residence, Minister Nhleko presented the report at the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature wherein he explained several aspects of the project.

After the site visit, the committee came out with several concerns, including, amongst others, “gross inflation of prices” and poor workmanship which resulted in incomplete construction work despite R206 million being spent on the project.

“It should be noted that there are processes underway in relation to cost inflation, scope-creep and recoveries which falls under the purview of the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) and the National Department of Public Works…”

The Minister also dismissed media reports that quoted a letter by a Senior Superintendent LF Linde where he claimed the South African Police Service (SAPS) barracks were built “by instruction of the State President”, saying it was, amongst other reasons, highly unlikely that the President would have interacted with an official of a lower rank.

“It should be noted that this matter was dealt with by the SIU in its investigation report … which interviewed Linde who stated that these were his own words and not of the President which means that he was not being truthful when he wrote ‘by the instruction of the State President’.

“This was, by his own account, an invention.”