'Mandela's Qunu home had a fire pool' – As it happened

2015-06-30 14:00

Police Minister Nathi Nhelko has said at a media briefing that late former president Nelson Mandela's Qunu home also had a 'fire pool'. Read on for how the briefing unfolded in Pretoria.


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Last Updated at 06:00
30 Jun 14:00

And that's it for the live update.

Check out News24 for full wraps on the day's events, following Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's second briefing on his Nkandla report.

Scroll down to see how events unfolded at the media briefing in Pretoria...

30 Jun 13:57
Twitter users react to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's second explanation of his Nkandla report:

30 Jun 13:55
Twitter users react to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's second explanation of his Nkandla report:

30 Jun 13:55
Twitter users react to Police Minister Nathi Nhleko's second explanation of his Nkandla report:

30 Jun 13:52
And the briefing now ends in earnest...

30 Jun 13:51

“I don’t want to jump into conclusions about the [21] houses,” Nhleko answers.

“I need to establish how we came to the 21 houses, what actually transpired and what the logic was.

“But also who decided to use one cost centre for two different projects.

“That will inform me what direction I need to take in that regard.”

30 Jun 13:49
A journalist interjects to make that point...

30 Jun 13:48
And the media briefing comes to a somewhat abrupt end, with the final two questions not having been answered in full.

30 Jun 13:47

“I’ve focused on four security issues (only). “I don’t understand the fixation on houses and the R135m [excess].

“It's important to follow proper steps,” he concludes.

30 Jun 13:45

Nhleko: “The Public Protector never said he [Zuma] must count money.

“Calculation is when you give me a figure and I must calculate the figure.

“There is a difference between calculations and a determination.

“When you say I must ‘determine’, there is an evaluation and assessment aspect to that.”

30 Jun 13:40

Nhleko: "Some questions have already been posed.

"Some of these questions are very interesting because they are part of the debate we should be having in society.

“All presidents which have served the Republic before... they still enjoy security help.

“That's how the State is essentially designed.

“At another point... is the extent to which South Africa as a state has dealt with these issues in the past."

30 Jun 13:39

Question 10: “Why is SIU going after the architect if the only issue is the 21 houses?”

Question 11: “When a new president comes in in 2019, is there a danger of a new Nkandla?”

30 Jun 13:35

And he returns to battle the last round of questions...

"I had to do it," he chimes to laughter from the assembled media.

30 Jun 13:34

Minister Nhleko has asked for a brief bathroom break.

30 Jun 13:29

Nhleko:  “It's difficult because it hinges on what those features are and the extent and scope of those particular features.

“If you’re going to do a re-evaluation it doesn't deal with cost factor.

“Costing is something else which will need to come out of it.

“The point I was trying to stress is that there are various things which needed to be completed, certain aspects also needed to be re-evaluated.”

30 Jun 13:28

Question 8: “Who built the houses?”

Question 9: “How much will it cost?”

30 Jun 13:21

“Another point we make in the report... is if you talk to any security person, including a non-security person, don't you think the extent to which you [the media] have opened up this matter makes the president vulnerable?

“Now that we have gone this route, there has to be a re-evaluation of the security.”

30 Jun 13:20

“One of the thing’s running across different reports - work which is incomplete - must be completed,” Nhleko continues.

“There are things which have not been completed. Most of the Nkandla reports make this observation. We make a similar observation.”

30 Jun 13:18

“Two questions about what happens after [President Zuma leaves office]. You are looking at the president's homestead as having been constructed using tax payers’ money, that is a problem.

“We’re talking about security upgrades, not the construction of houses.

“The President like all others, once they retire they still get subjected to a package, with security detail.

“The extent may not be the same so that issue shall always be there. Even if retired, the State is still concerned with the president’s security.”

30 Jun 13:15

“The report I produced has everything to do with resolutions of parliament and everyone at liberty to see it in any way he or she sees fit.

“If you disagree that's fine, I accept that but then get into the detail and the content of what I put across.

“The Minister asks people to come forward with proof if they disagree with his report.”

30 Jun 13:14
Minister Nhleko now answers the questions in order:

30 Jun 13:13

Question 6: “What will it cost to maintain Nkandla on an annual basis?”

Question 7: “Is the pool being used for recreational use at the moment?”

30 Jun 13:12

Fifth question asked by another journalist about additional security features needed to Nkandla.

“Once President Zuma retires, the question remains, will he still continue to maintain such a large property?

30 Jun 13:10

Journalist: “Can we have a media tour of Nkandla?”

Nhleko: There is nothing wrong if the media asks the chair of the ad hoc committee if the media can go with on Nkandla site visit.”

30 Jun 13:08

Journalist: “It's concerning that you don’t know who made decision to build them.”

Nhleko: “We have not spoken of any separate investigation into the 21 houses.”

30 Jun 13:07
“Work of clarification needs to be done of what actually was the thinking and why they houses were dubbed a security feature," says Nhleko.

30 Jun 13:06
Question 4: “With respect as the minister of police, how do you not know who gave permission to build those houses?” asks a journalist.

30 Jun 13:05

“I still do think that perhaps one of the considerations should be a sprinkler system, but there needs to be sufficient water pressure,” Nhleko says in answer to Question 3.

“On the 21 houses - it is worth looking into.

“We need to know who constructed those houses by whose decision. Who decided to use that construction, which is situated completely outside the property of the president to be lumped with the security upgrades?”

30 Jun 13:04

Question 3: Would a sprinkler system not have worked?

Nhleko says it’s a valid question, but that we must remember “when firefighters came on scene they explained that there was not sufficient water pressure from the hydrant.”

30 Jun 13:02

Nhleko continues to answer Question 1 & 2:

“The question of the local capacity for the municipality is valid. Rural and district municipalities do need to be equipped, but on the one hand if you’re faced with a situation where you have a president elected and he lives in a particular area, security practitioners must attend to security matters.”

30 Jun 13:01

“It became important to understand this thing. All of us South Africans need to understand.

“Many people I have spoken to said, when I released this report, that people said they were starting to understand things they didn't understand before."

30 Jun 13:00

Nhelko: “It is important to continue with engagement on the issue. The issue has been spoken about quite a lot.

“At the time the Public Protector’s report was released, some of these issues were also baffling for me.

“So how does a swimming pool become a security feature, the other was the amphitheatre...

“Those were baffling for me. But it took getting closer to the issues to try understand... what we are dealing with is not what I think, it's what ‘s been established.”

30 Jun 12:58

Question 1: Why are the houses separate from Nkandla? Would they have been constructed if Nkandla wasn't there? But they’re there to protect the president, so isn't it part of security?”

Question 2: Do you feel you were not understood the first time you gave us the report? This is a rehash.”

30 Jun 12:56
The police minister now turns to a time of Q&A:

30 Jun 12:56

“That issue requires some further work.

“My brief for now was what constituted security upgrades – a pool, kraal/chicken run, amphitheatre and visitor centre.”

30 Jun 12:55
“Who took the decision that 21 houses, where R135m was spent (which has nothing to do with the President’s homestead), needed to be constructed?"

30 Jun 12:54

“The question is whether or not between the two spending patterns is there consistency.

“The R32m which we spent in Qunu translates to R71m today.”

30 Jun 12:53

“This culvert is broken into two - a walkway and a livestock underpass (in Qunu). This culvert, when constructing it, we had to cut off the highway (N2) because of security,” Nhleko says.

“The question of the culvert in Nkandla is not a new thing in terms of security. It's what we have also done in other areas.

“One of the interesting things that requires a follow up, if I'm not mistaken, is security upgrades in Qunu were done almost 10 years ago and spent R32m.

"In 2009, we needed security upgrades and spent R50.5m.”

30 Jun 12:51
Nhelko is now showing photos of a culvert at Mandela's Qunu home...

30 Jun 12:50
“But it also had two dams in Qunu - but the dam for crops is too far from the house and the second dam for livestock was also far from the homestead, so he had the pool in the middle of the homestead,” Nhleko says of Mandela’s home.

30 Jun 12:46

The minister is now showing the media a picture of late former president Nelson Mandela’s Qunu home.

“It also had a firepool,” he says.

30 Jun 12:44
"This allows president to keep his livestock in the new animal enclosure."

30 Jun 12:43

30 Jun 12:43

30 Jun 12:42

“There is a reason for that. The head of the homestead, when he emerges in the morning, the first thing he has to see is his live stock. But then he, the expert told them what a kraal was and why we can't move it.”

The minister is now showing a video of the animal kraal...

30 Jun 12:40
“We asked an African culture expert about the kraal’s structure, and a few issues came out.”

30 Jun 12:39

“At other presidential residences, cats were a problem in triggering the beams. So it was felt live stock needed to be moved from the internal perimeter fence to outer.

“For cattle to move in and out, they use an opening under the fence so they don’t interfere with the security system.”

30 Jun 12:38
“It was felt in as far as the security appraisal that because the president had live stock in the family kraal, in the inner security perimeter line with motion beams, animals were going to interfere with the working of that security system.”

30 Jun 12:38
“It was felt in as far as the security appraisal that because the president had live stock in the family kraal, in the inner security perimeter line with motion beams, animals were going to interfere with the working of that security system.”

30 Jun 12:37

“The family kraal is still there, with the animal enclosure at the base of the property.

“The dome is a chicken run. It’s a funny looking kraal. I haven’t seen a kraal with all in one - chickens, goats and cattle.”

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