Nkandla security too costly

2013-01-30 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Security at the homes of three former presidents did not — together — cost what was spent at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

City Press reported that security at former president Nelson Mandela’s Qunu house cost R28,2 million.

Earlier, Die Burger reported that the state spent R3,5 million on former president Thabo Mbeki’s retirement house in Houghton.

The Public Works investigation revealed spending of R206 million at the Nkandla residence, which included a helipad, a clinic, lifts and bullet-proof windows.

Minister Thulas Nxesi stressed that no taxpayers’ money was spent on the houses themselves.

Last year, Zuma told Parliament that “all buildings and every room” were paid for by the Zuma family.

In terms of the National Key Points Act, security measures were upgraded after a risk assessment.

The homes of all former presidents are national key points and protected by the state. Nxesi earlier said the Nkandla property was declared a national key point in April 2010.

F.W. de Klerk’s spokesperson, Dave Steward, said yesterday the security improvements at De Klerk’s house in Fresnaye, Cape Town, were “reasonable”. Parts of the boundary wall were raised. Electronic security equipment, including computer screens and cameras, was installed and a secrity guard house with a toilet facilities built from where the property is monitored day and night, he said.

“We don’t have the vaguest idea what it cost, but it was nowhere near what was spent at Nkandla,” he said.

Nxesi said the improvements at ­Nkandla were not unique and were undertaken as part of similar work at the Union Buildings, in Houghton and Qunu (Mbeki and Mandela’s houses), at Tuynhuys, Parliament and John L. Dube (formerly King’s) House in Durban.

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