SIU files replies to Nkandla architect

By Drum Digital
10 September 2014

The SIU has submitted its replies to Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya on the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's homestead, in the Pietermaritzburg High Court.

The SIU submitted its replies to Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya on the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's homestead, in the Pietermaritzburg High Court on Wednesday. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) filed 23 replies to Makhanya's 40 requests for documents.

The other documents Makhanya wanted were not relevant or were already in his possession, it said. The replies were on a compact disc. Printed copies were not immediately available.

In his application last Tuesday, Makhanya said he wanted the SIU to "make available for inspection within five days" documents relevant to its civil claim against him, including its final report on the upgrades.

Makhanya and the department of public works face a R155 million civil claim relating to work done at Zuma's homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

According to reports, the SIU claimed that the department offered to appoint Makhanya as principal agent of the Nkandla upgrade project, but the appointment was unlawful as it was not preceded by an open tender process.

The claim further detailed Makhanya's authorisation of security measures beyond those advised by the SA Police Service (SAPS) and the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

It stated that Makhanya had authorised installations that did not fall within the scope of security measures.

In a report released in March, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found Zuma and his family had unduly benefited from the R246 million spent on the security upgrades.

Makhanya made headlines after it was revealed in Madonsela's report that he made R16.5m from the project.

The SIU handed its final report on Nkandla to Zuma on August 20. It said at the time it was under no obligation to make the report public.

The documents sought by Makhanya included:

-- Security assessment reports by the SAPS and the SANDF;

-- Approval by the minister of public works for the costs of security measures;

-- A request or motivation by the director general of the public works department to appoint him as architect;

-- Bidding documents submitted to the department by consultants and contractors in the Nkandla project;

-- All contracts concluded between the department and the consultants and/or contractors; and

-- All documents and materials the SIU relied on to compile particulars of its claims and those relied on for its allegations of excessive payments and above-market payments.

-SAPA

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