Govt's Nkandla report briefing - as it happened

2013-12-19 11:35

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The government’s inter-ministerial task team report into Nkandla is set to be released on Thursday.

This comes after the ANC criticised Public Protector Thuli Madonsela over the timing of her report on construction work at President Jacob Zuma's KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

A few weeks ago the Mail&Guardian leaked Madonsela’s preliminary report in which she allegedly found that the president had misled Parliament.

National Union of Mineworkers secretary general Irvin Jim called for accountability should the apparently leaked report prove to be true.


13:10 - And the briefing's over. There will be more updates at 14:30 when Gwede Mantashe responds on behalf of the ANC to government's report. 


13:09 - Radebe says that the ministers take full responsibility for the project.


13:08 - Radebe: There are no engineers present to answer questions about the [fire]pool, Radebe says.


13:04 - Nxesi says they engaged with the auditor general. He wanted their report, which he couldn't have because it was still classified. 


13:01 - Talks underway about "maximising" use of level one health facility but community can't access it for now. "Right now the community can't use the clinic because it's a National Key Point."


12:59 - SANDF's Ramlakan says defence budget doesn't cover community members using the clinic, just for Zuma and his family.


12:58 - Nxesi: The president cannot have known about the costs - would not have been told, or even given details of upgrades.


12:56 - Here's a link to government's statement on the briefing. 


12:52 - 


12:51 - Cwele says State Security is investigating "the management of information" around the project.


12:50 - Cwele: Some contractors had security clearance, others didn't. Some of those working on the ground were later found to be foreigners.


12:49 - Ramlakan says it was Public Works' engineers recommended the swimming pool ("fire pool" and water reservoir as a solution. "If you want to know why there is a fire pool, you need to ask the engineers."


12:48 - The SANDF's Ramlakan: The use of the term "swimming pool" came later in the project. Initial request was for fire-fighting capability.


12:47 -  Phiyega: No fire brigades in Nkandla. Best thing we know is to take the bucket put it in water and pour it on the fire.

Phiyega: Nkandla doesn't have the normal amenities that we take for granted.


12:45 - Phiyega answers question on why a pool was needed instead of water tanks. "This is an area without running water..."


12:44 - At 14:30 today (Thursday), the ANC's Gwede Mantashe is set to hold a briefing on the party's response to government's report.


12:44 - 


12:37 - The task team did not interview Zuma or any members of the executive. 


12:36 - Phiyega says three past attacks at residence: two were arson and one was burglary.


12:35 - Phiyega responds to a question about whether Zuma should move to a safer location. She says it's an "insensitive and arrogant question". 


12:34 - We are told former minister, Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, was not interviewed by the task team. Nor were any former officials, tweets MG Reporter


12:33 - SANDF: Even after Zuma's tenure is up, the SANDF is required to look after his health.


12:32 - SANDF: There is a separate access route that will allow for the clinic to be used by the community.


12:32 - The SANDF general speaking is now Vijay Ramlakan.


12:30 - SANDF: We needed to build health infrastructure at Nkandla. But it's situated on the periphery and can be used by civilians.


12:29 - SANDF: The review of the facilities was negative. One couldn't be proud of the facilities there. No emergency medical facilities.


12:29 -  The SANDF says it reviewed the facilities, as required per Treasury rules.


12:27 - SANDF:  The astroturf field is not on state land but was built by an NGO as a legacy project of the 2010 World Cup.


12:25 - SANDF: Paving is for an access road. "You can't wear high heels in that area."


12:25 - Radebe says the SIU will investigate everything.


12:22 - Uncle Gwede has a media briefing at 2:30pm today to react to Nkandla report. Numsa's is at 2pm for some big announcement. Yikes! - Freelance reporter Ranjeni Munusamy tweets.


12:21 - Question from reporter: Why did govt pay for paving, how is astroturf security related, also aircon? Is R135m ongoing cost?


12:17 - Nxesi: Media must understand security needs (of Nkandla). 


12:15 - Public Works official did not bring details of running costs so can't tell us what they are but they are "minimal".


12:13 - Phiyega: It was also untenable that the cattle used the same entrance as people. That's why we added a culvert.


12:12 - Phiyega: The cattle kraal had to be moved. Cattle were an impediment to the sensitive security features on the fence.


12:11 - General Riah Phiyega: Even a chicken run can be a security impediment.


12:08 - Were there any "nice to haves" at Nkandla? SANDF says no, all were thoroughly needed.


12:06 - Journalist wants to know how a chicken run is a security feature. Valid question.


12:06 - Copies of the report are available on the GCIS website. 


12:05 - Ministers now taking questions. 


12:04 - Nxesi: If you want to fully understand the report, read the report in context.


12:03 - Nxesi: Report's release in line with commitment to transparency.


12:03 - Nxesi: Report presents factual findings of investigation. 


12:00 - Nxesi: Allegations Zuma used state funds are unfounded. Actual security cost is approx R71m. R135m spent on operational needs and basic services (water, power, etc). 


11:59 - Nxesi: Fear of fire outbreaks due to thatched roofs. Hence the need for a "fire pool described as a swimming pool".


11:57 - Nxesi says a structure which was called an amphitheatre isn't an amphitheatre. Even though what he describes sounds like an amphitheatre. Nxesi says it's a "retaining wall". 


11:57 - Nxesi: Surrounding families had to be relocated as they posed a security risk.


11:56 - Nxesi: Tuck shop was there long before Zuma became president. 


11:55 - Nxesi: Public discourse dominated by costs incurred by homestead.


11:55 - Nxesi: NO state funds were used to build the private homestead.


11:52 - Violence in area necessitated major security upgrades to homestead - Nxesi.


11:51 - Nxesi: All sovereign govts have responsibility to provide security for their heads.


11:51 - Nxesi: Upgrades became necessary when Zuma became president.


11:50 - Nxesi says the report will still exclude security issues like bulletproof windows etc


11:49 - Nxesi says the task team submitted its report in January 2013.


11:48 - Nxesi: In October 2012 I ordered an investigation into security installations in Nkandla with concerns that the spending escalated.


11:48 - On 4 December Cabinet resolved to release JCPS cluster report on Nkandla.


11:47 - Nxesi starts speaking. 


11:47 - Radebe assures that any and all questions will be answered.


11:47 - Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi will read statement.


11:45 - Justice Minister Jeff Radebebe addressing the media now.


11:34 - The media briefing for the report was set to start at 11:00. Yes, it is 11:34. No, the briefing hasn't started yet.



Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  nkandla upgrade

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