Media to tour Nkandla

2015-07-26 09:31
(Amanda Khoza, News24)

(Amanda Khoza, News24)

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Nkandla - Media will be allowed into President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday for an official tour. 

"The Sunday tour will include the government facilities inside the premises," the Presidency said in an earlier statement. 

This visit comes after the SA National Editors' Forum said it was disappointed by the limited access journalists had during a parliamentary committee oversight visit to Zuma's home on Wednesday. 

"The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) requested last week that journalists be accorded an opportunity to see the facilities mentioned in various reports on the Nkandla security upgrades," the Presidency said. 

"During the visit by the National Assembly ad-hoc committee on Nkandla, the media was taken on a tour of some of the infrastructure outside the residence."

Sanef said on Thursday that in spite of pleas to be allowed to enter Zuma's property during the long-awaited visit on Wednesday to KwaNxamalala village in Nkandla to inspect the over R200m worth of taxpayer-funded upgrades, journalists were kept on the fringes in a separate media tour.

''Journalists were only allowed access to the section of the property where 21 chalets for bodyguards and soldiers; the clinic and the helicopter landing pad are situated,'' it said. 

A report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, which was released in March last year, found that  Zuma "unduly benefited" from some of the estimated R246m upgrades to his homestead. 

She said he should pay for those features that were not related to security. 

On May 28, Police Minister Nathi Nhleko released his own report on the Nkandla upgrades saying features at the homestead like the amphitheatre and soil retention wall, visitors’ centre, “firepool”, a kraal and a culvert, were all security features and he maintained that Zuma did not have to pay for these.

He told the portfolio committee on Tuesday that more money may have to be spent on Nkandla to install additional security.

This was because public scrutiny had compromised Zuma's safety, he said.

“The security experts must go back to assess the extent of vulnerability and how the president has been exposed,” Nhleko told the committee. 

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  nathi nhleko  |  thuli madonsela  |  pietermaritzburg  |  nkandla upgrade

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