Officials explain away extras added to Nkandla

2013-12-20 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Ministers and officials in the government’s security cluster yesterday explained away all the extras added to the Nkandla estate.

Former SANDF surgeon-general General Vejay Ramlakan said the helipad and clinic, for which the SA Military Health Service is responsible, were not just “nice to have” but were fully justified.

Police commissioner General Riah Phiyega also said according the the SAPS analysis of the security at President Jacob Zuma’s private estate, nothing was “nice to have”.

Phiyega and Ramlakan explained the improvements thus:

• Paving — this refers to an access road. “Everyone who has visited Nkandla knows you must not wear stiletto heels when you go there. The terrain is very inhospitable. It is worse in bad weather. Ordinary security vehicles cannot patrol the perimeter on a dirt road,” said Ramlakan.

• Swimming pool — firefighting pond. “There is no running water at Nkandla. Most of the buildings are thatched and built close together. Anyone who grew up in a rural area knows there are no fire extinguishers or fire brigades,” said Phiyega.

• Tuckshop — because of the security risk of outsiders coming into the estate, it was moved closer to the perimeter.

• Relocation of neighbours — some people outside the boundary had to be moved because the risk of them living too close to the security zone.

• Amphitheatre — a four-metre retaining wall intended to guard against erosion was erected as a curved terrace.

• Chicken coop — this replaced several structures dotted around the estate. These were in the way and could provide hiding places for intruders.

• Cattle kraal and underpass — security assessments recommended sensitive electronic equipment be installed on the fences. In order to avoid cattle coming in contact with and damaging the sensitive equipment, it was decided to move the kraal.

• Astroturf — “As I understand it, a non-governmental organisation built the field on the border of the estate as a 2010 Soccer World Cup legacy project,” said Ramlakan.

• Air conditioning — “Bulletproof windows cannot be easily opened and therefore proper air conditioning had to be installed,” said Ramlakan.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.