The Nkandla report - AS IT HAPPENED

2014-03-19 11:35

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Public Protector Thuli Madonsela will finally release her report into upgrades at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead.

See a timeline of events concerning the upgrades here.
 
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17:04 - So that's where we'll end this update. Tomorrow (Thursday) the ANC responds to the report and government is responding now. But that's it today for Madonsela. Cheers for now. 


17:01 - Madonsela finishes briefing. She must be exhausted.


17:00 - Madonsela: There's no evidence the president lied about Nkandla.


16:55 - One thing I've observed about president is respect for rule of law. He has to submit comment to Parliament, says PP.


16:51 - PP: Do I fear for my life? No. I don't think we are one of those democracies where people disappear. People want accountability.


16:49 - PP: I expect the ANC to defend the Constitution and to ask for a meeting if they don't understand


16:45 - Madonsela has told reporters: Govt must take responsibility for delays and the fact that the is being released close to elections. 


16:44 - Max du Preez reckons: "If anything, the Public Protector was soft on Zuma - he didn't 'willfully' speak the truth either. Line up the scapegoats, comrades!"


16:42 - The ANC says it postponed its briefing on Madonsela's report to give government a chance to respond. 

The government briefing, due to have started at 15:00 has yet to start. Almost two hours later.


16:38 - This is the first time I don't specify who assisted me. Because of the animosity that has accompanied the report, says PP. 

No one has said they were intimidated but investigators felt uncomfortable and declined to be on the panel, she says. 


16:36 - We decided to avoid saying how much is reasonable for Zuma to refund. An auditor and surveyor are needed for that- PP

Madonsela: I called it the elephant in the room - items of (Zuma's) account that were discussed by govt.


16:35 - Madonsela: If we had interacted with security cluster earlier, would have had better understanding of security concerns


16:34 - Madonsela says in the final report she rethought her original finding on whether Zuma misled Parliament


16:33 - Madonsela: It's always difficult to say what has changed in final report, because then it's not provisional finding but public


16:30 - The ANC has just announced it has postponed its briefing to Thursday at 10:00.


16:27 - Madonsela: I provided the president with the provisional report and advisors made themselves available. 


16:26 - Zuma answered some questions, but not all, which is really sad. It was opportunity for the president to explain himself, PP says. 


16:22 - Madonsela says met with Zuma in July 2013 to tell him about what is being investigated. He had no representative, so she didn't interview him.


16:20 - Madonsela says that accusations that Zuma wasn't informed about investigation are untrue. She says she wrote to him. "Unless he doesn't get his letters."


16:19 - Madonsela: It's now clear that the state built Zuma some buildings and it is up to the president to see how he deals with Parliament.


16:11 - The DA has also announced in a press statement it will be laying criminal charges at Nkandla SAPS following the release of Madonsela's Nkandla report. 


16:09 - The PP said earlier: "If authorities acted when Nkandla was brought to their attention, it would've saved citizens money."


16:07 - Madonsela FINALLY ends briefing on report by saying simply: "Thank you." But the media must still ask questions.


16:05 - Madonsela quotes ConCourt judge saying functionary must investigate and take action, because required to be transparent


16:04 - Public office bearers in affected organs of state are to ensure compliance.


16:00 - Madonsela has been speaking for three and a half hours now. The media must still ask questions.

"We are now on the last page of the report executive summary. After this, questions will follow,"says Carien du Plessis.


15:58 - No more security upgrades at Nkandla unless they are absolutely necessary, says PP.


15:57 - The minister of police (Mthethwa) should take steps to expedite the review of the National Key Points Act.


15:55 - Zuma must report to National Assembly on comments and actions on report within 14 days


15:55 - Zuma must reprimand ministers involved for appalling manner in which project was handled- PP


15:54 - PP: Zuma must pay back reasonable percentage of non-security implementation costs.


15:53 - PP: Military clinic also requires lifetime maintenance which may exceed Zuma's lifetime


15:50 - Zuma: Zuma has to take steps with treasury and SAPS to determine non-security implementation costs


15:50 - Many installations require life time maintenance at the cost of the state, says PP. 


15:48 - PP: Deficiencies in defence dept regulations about security at homes of govt leaders show need for proper policy


15:46 - PP: Conduct of some of the role players delayed the investigation. Architect Makhanya assumed multiple and conflicting roles as principal agent.


15:45 - PP: Unable to make finding over whether Zuma lied to parliament about mortgage bond. He didn't provide papers


15:44 - PP: Zuma's failure to act to protect state resources is a violation of paragraph 2 of the executive ethics code and Constitution.


15:43 - Karyn Maughanfrom eNCA tweets: "Just spoke to Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya. He says he's "not in a position to comment" on PP report, put down phone."


15:42 - Madonsela: Zuma, as head of SA Incorporated, wore two hats: one of ultimate guardian of SA people's resources, and one of beneficiary. 


15:40 - PP: The president failed to apply his mind to the contents of the declaration of his private residence as a national key point.


15:39 - Zuma told Parliament that his family built its own houses, and not the state. This was not true, says PP.


15:39 - It appears Zuma made a bona fide mistake and didn't intetionally mislead Parliament, says PP.


15:38 - The president and his family CLEARLY benefitted from this, says PP pointedly.


15:37 - Costs of visitors’ Centre, cattle kraal and chicken run, swimming pool and amphitheatre should be borne by president.

And Thuli takes another much-needed sip of water. That's only the second (I think) in almost three hours of speaking.


15:36 - Madonsela: Zuma tacitly accepted and unduly benefited from investment on non-security upgrades, and should pay.


15:34 -  It is clear that President Zuma that he was never familiarized with the provisions of the National Key Points Act


15:32 - Is Zuma liable for some of the costs incurred, PP asks.


15:31 - Madonsela: Funds were redirected from programmes including inner city regeneration. "Improper conduct and maladministration."


15:31 - PP: Not saying what should happen to Makhanya. Placing him there was maladministration by state


15:28 - PP now onto a finding about political interference. Madonsela: Involvement of Doidge and Bogopane-Zulu might be perceived as political interference, but no such climate.


15:27 - PP: "I do not make the rules, I simply enforce collectively agreed controls and values


15:26 - Lt Gen Ramlakan, the former surgeon general, failed to comply with and or ensure compliance. 


15:25 - "A reasonable part of the expenditure towards the installations ... should be borne by him (Zuma) and his family"- PP. 


15:23 - Madonsela: Chief quantity surveyor showed exemplary conduct in questioning excessive cost escalation.


15:22 - PP: All ministers of the Public Works provided incorrect information on the legal authority.

Geoff Doidge and Nathi Mthethwa could have provided better leadership as minsters, says PP.


15:19 - Mthethwa failed to properly apply his mind, PP has found. 


15:17 - PP: Zuma improperly benefitted from some upgrades, some measures benefit his family as well.


15:15 - PP moves onto whether Zuma's family benefited. She finds that Zuma's brother didn't.


15:15 - PP: Visitors centre, kraal, swimming pool and relocation of neighbours "at enormous cost to the state" were unnecessary.

Expenditure was excessive and a misappropriation of funds. Contravention of constitution.


15:13 - PP: Measures of including buildings and other installations by the Dept of Public Works went beyond reasonable requirements for security.


15:10 - One of those unlawful measures is the moving of the neighbours, says PP.


15:09 - PP: The organs of state involved failed dismally to follow supply chain management.


15:08 - Madonsela: Was failure to comply with tender regulations, no security clearance for some service providers, and scope creep.


15:07 - Finding: A license to loot situation was created by government due to lack of demand management.


15:06 - Read Madonsela's full statement here.


15:05 - Where there was authority to upgrade security it was exceeded. Procedures not followed - PP


15:04 - Cabinet policy of 2003 was violated.


15:04 - Madonsela moves onto findings - there was authority for some things and not for others.


15:01 - The Cabinet/ govt briefing on Madonsela's report is due to start now. Meanwhile, this is trending on Twitter in Cape Town: "#impeachzuma is now trending in #CapeTown trendsmap.com/za/cape town"


15:01 - Madonsela says maladministration will not be dealt with now.


14:59 - "Someone just asked me how getting a lecture from my mom is. . . :'')," tweets Wenzile Madonsela


14:57 - For the time since she started speaking more than two hours ago, Madonsela has taken a sip of water. Much needed probably.

PP: How does the expenditure compare with previous expenditure. Excessive. What was envisaged when the regime was conceived?


14:55 - The communication around what was being built could have been handled better. This is just an observation, not a finding, says PP. This has grossly undermined the trust in government, she says.


14:51 - The DA's Mazibuko: "Given damning findings Parliament must immediately begin considering my motion (of impeachment)."


14:50 - The new tuck shop is not really a tuck shop but a building housing security features. One of those buildings is a tuck shop, says PP.


14:49 -  Makhanya (the architect) was asked to discuss the fire pool with the president. It was put on hold because of personal expenses.


14:47 -  PP says several things cannot be classified as security measures.She repeats that the swimming pool (note: NOT firepool as Minister Thulas Nxesi put it) was delayed often because it was not considered a security upgrade.


14:46 - Many ministers and reportedly Zuma himself sought to influence her investigation and prevent it from taking place, says the DA's Lindiwe Mazibuko.


14:45 - Madonsela: We had questions on whether cattle kraal, culvert, pool, amphitheater were security upgrades.


14:43 - I concede that I'm not a security expert, says PP. My role is of public scrutiny.


14:41 - PP says the police  did not play a role in post upgrades according to a SAPS official.


14:40 - Dept Public Works official in memo demanding budget increase to R200m: "Failure to assist me will result in us failing Zuma."


14:38 - 



14:37 - The has DA welcomed Madonsela's report and that the recommendations are being made public.


14:34 - Madonsela: Just because officials were working on project involving the president they cut corners.


14:29 - PP: I'm unable to conclude this did not present risk of conflict of interest on role played by Makhanya. Makhanya was paid on a percentage basis. The more expensive the work, more he got paid.


14:27 - It was never explained why Mr Makhanya became the principal agent of the upgrades, says PP.


14:27 - PP: If government becomes lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law.


14:24 - 



14:21 - There were deviations in Nkandla: these were justified by instructions from public works, agency, security provider chosen by president.


14:18 - The project started at R27m. The cost is now more than R250m. 


14:18 - PP puzzled as to who gave the state the power to remove those families.


14:16 - Madonsela: Two security experts evaluated fence, but didn't complain. Architect Makhanya wanted it straight "for security".


14:14 - We looked at what Zuma's predecessors did on clinic. Mandela had mobile ICU which reverted back to state, PP says. She says the same will happen with mobile clinic at Nkandla. 


14:12- "Madonsela is on page 27 of a 71 page executive summary. Unless she skips ahead it'll take a while to get to findings," tweets reporter Ranjeni Munusamy. We might be here for a while yet...


14:11 - PP asks: Did Zuma know he had to pay? He was informed he had to pay for everything but only a year later.


14:09 - The Democratic Alliance is set to respond to Madonsela's report now, the government at 15:00 and the ANC at 16:30.


14:09 - The disappearance of the document at a time when all involved were conversant on its contents is a matter of great concern.


14:07 - Madonsela: There was even talk at one point of a swimming pool being on hold because it was for Zuma's account. 


14:05 - We are struggling to find out how these expenditures were authorised, says PP. 


14:01 - Zuma argued very soundly that there's any obligation for him to pay for security upgrades at his home, says PP.


13:59 - The spending on Nkandla was way more than what previous presidential properties was.



13:57 - And the lights are back...


13:55 - Have the lights gone out at the briefing? Looks like it. Madonsela looks a bit confused. Madonsela apologises for the interruption.


13:54 - For only this project public works office given powers to sign off on R200m instead of R20m cap. 


13:51 - PP: Security was supposed to be handled in terms of the National Key Points Act.

PP: Our reading declaration showed that the National Key Point Act is an enabling framework for upgrades.


13:51 - The directive from the police should have informed the upgrades, says PP. 


13:48 - Madonsela says the Nkandla project turned into the construction of a "township" after Zuma consultants came in.


13:47 - PP says clearer regulations needed for presidents and deputies.


13:44 - PP: In May 2009 security costs came to only R27m... course of action changed in August 2009..."What happened in August 2009?"


13:43 - Zuma said PP's provisional report "is tainted by lack of proper procedure... and... has not applied the rules of natural justice".


13:42 - PP: The president was aware of what the Nkandla project entailed as he was briefed from time to time.


13:41 - Madonsela has recommended that President Jacob Zuma must pay a percentage of the cost of security upgrades to his private Nkandla home. Read more here


13:38 - 10 things worth knowing about Madonsela’s Nkandla report, writes City Press's Carien du Plessis.


13:36 -  PP says the National Key Points Act, Cabinet Policy and Treasury rules were all but completely ignored.


13:34 - Zuma was part of the problem of delays and, had it not been for him, the report would've been out in April 2013.


13:33 - PP: Normal approach to probes was applied. We asked "what happened and what should have happened?"


13:31 - PP had to ask Zuma the same questions ministers were asked.


13:29 - PP: I took into account Public Protector Act and Constitution taken when determining how much public should hear.


13:29 - PP: We've experienced problems with accessing information that was said to be classified. 


13:26 - PP also experienced issues of jurisdiction. some challenged improperly jurisdiction. 


13:25 - PP experienced lengthy delays in response to Section 79 notices. When asked to extend timelines, her office was threatened with litigation.


13:24 - The president was given a copy of the provisional report, says PP. 


13:23 - The investigation took two years to complete. Access to classified reports one of the factors that delayed the probe, says PP. 


13:22 - PP also found that Zuma's inaction with spiralling costs when news broke in 2009 was violation of ethics code.


13:22 - Zuma changed the design of bullet proof windows because "they reminded him of his incarceration".


13:21 - PP interviewed the former minister of public works, former minister of public works, and officials from public works, police & defence as part of her investigation.


13:20 - PP finds that despite being asked to build “economical” upgrades, architect came back with “luxurious” designs.


13:17 - "Public Protector did not beat Zuma up as badly as she found cause to on Nkandla, but still paints a man arguably unfit to be President," tweets Phillip de Wet.


13:16 Madonsela's report is between 450-500 pages long (I'm seeing different figures from journalists).


13:15 - Had Zuma questioned the cost of the project, the state would have paid far less.


13:14 - 



13:12 - Scope of probe also deals with conduct of Zuma and others (involved in or connected to project), says PP. 


13:12 - PP: If government becomes lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law.


13:11 - PP lists 12 issues investigated in the report "Was the expenditure by the state excessive?"


13:10 - Letter by Public Works Dept which sought to ascertain how much Zuma should've paid went missing.


13:10 - The government will respond to Madonsela's report at 15:00 and the ANC at 16:30. 


13:09 - PP says she found it difficult to understand why state paid for swimming pool, kraal and other frills.


13:08 - 



13:05 - Deeply disturbing to find that Zuma and others feel it is alright to benefit themselves, PP says. Harsh words from Madonsela.


13:05 - PP's report says Zuma’s private architect earned R16.5m from project.


13:02 - The work (at Nkandla) is incomplete, PP says her office found. "Where is the money coming from and how is it received?" is one of the complaints PP's office received.


13:02 - Zuma is required to report to Parliament within 14 days.


13:00 - PP: Zuma's failure to act in protection of state resources is violation of Executive Members' Ethics Act.


12:58 - Madonsela has called the report "Secure in comfort".

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, and others, are found to be guilty of improper conduct and maladministration.


12:58 - PP now refers to M&G report last November.


12:57 - The PP has also found that the Nkandla costs might balloon from the current R215m to about R246m.


12:56 - PP says all ministers in Public Works Dept provided incorrect info on legal authority.


12:54 - Cost at the end of project was R246m.


12:53 - Report starts with quote from official involved in the project, says PP.


12:51 - BREAKING: Madonsela has found President Jacob Zuma's conduct was "inconsistent" with the Constitution. She also found that there is a real risk of a repeat of the Nkandla excesses.


12:50 - PP: The allegation that the expenditure constitutes opulence on a grand scale is substantiated.

PP has also called it a swimming pool. Not a firepool.


12:48 - Media involvement essential for an open and transparent state, says PP.


12:47 -  "PP finds that Jacob Zuma should have applied his mind to upgrades and asked questions about them," Alex Eliseevhas tweeted after looking at the report.


12:46 - "Nkandla features Public Protector wants Zuma to cough up for: *swimming pool *cattle kraal *chicken run *amphitheatre *visitors' centre," tweets Phillip de Wet.


12:45 - 



12:44 - Special thanks to the media, says PP.


12:43 - She also thanks everyone who has taken an "interest in the briefing". So that's most South Africans then...


12:42 - Madonsela (PP) starts addressing media. Apologies for the late start, she says. She welcomes all on her team.



12:40 - Spokesperson for protector (PP) welcomes media. Here we go... 


12:36 - Nope, no Madonsela yet...


12:30 - Madonsela should be taking her seat for the briefing any moment now... Seeing lots of tweets saying the report is 400 pages long. Not sure if this is true though it's not unlikely.


12:22 - The public protector's office sure is retweeting a LOT of words of support... 


12:19 - 




12:16 - Reporters have been in lockdown for hours for the briefing set to start at 12:30.

11:59 - Experts say that even if Madonsela found Zuma had misled Parliament, he was likely to get little more than a slap on the wrist as a result of her findings.

They said the Constitution only provided for the removal of the president when they were found incapable of carrying out their duties or found guilty of a criminal offence.

“I don’t think the drafters of the Constitution had envisaged a situation where a president could mislead Parliament, but a case can still be made in that regard,” political analyst Prince Mashele said.



11:58 - What are the powers of the Public Protector and why was the institution created in the first place? Pierre de Vos explains in a Daily Maverick piece.



11:35 - 


- News24

Read more on:    thulas nxesi  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  nkandla upgrade
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