Nkandla secret documents must be handed over to architect - court
Pietermaritzburg - Classified documents related to controversial multi-million rand upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead must be handed over to his architect, a court ruled on Friday.
The Department of Public Works and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) must hand over security assessments made by them at Nkandla to architect Minenhle Makhanya, the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg ordered.
This included the police and defence reports on the upgrades and a report on site inspections undertaken by the police.
But the court ordered that the contents of the documents may not be disseminated to any third party, except for the strict purposes of litigation in this matter.
The ruling is a blow to the department, which argued against the release of the documents in court, saying they had been classified.
Makhanya had argued in turn that he needed the documents to prepare his defence.
He is being sued by the SIU, which is claiming R155 million from him for alleged excessive spending on work done at Zuma's Nkandla home.
The upgrades - said to be have cost more than R260 million - have been the topic of many investigations and court cases, and are behind the phrase "Pay back the money", chanted by Economic Freedom Fighters MPs in Parliament after Public Protector Thuli Madonsela recommended that Zuma pay back a portion of the money.
Zuma has insisted he did nothing wrong.