Nkandla project manager 'won't take the hit'

2014-10-01 10:16


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Durban - The public works department's Nkandla project manager is determined that he will not take the fall for somebody else's transgression, Beeld reported on Wednesday.

"I know what I did wrong and what I did right and I am prepared to take the hit for what I did wrong, but I will not take the hit for what I did not do wrong," Jean Rindel, 40, told the Afrikaans daily.

He is project manager of the department's regional office in Durban which was charged with the Nkandla project.


He reportedly hoped the truth came out and that justice prevailed, but would not take responsibility for other's transgressions.

Rindel was the first of several department officials to appear at a disciplinary hearing over the R246m upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

The charges included financial misconduct and flouting tender procedures.

Rindel jokingly called himself the "chief suspect" but said he took the matter very seriously.

The hearing was one of a number of processes currently underway after the public protector found not all the upgrades at Zuma's home were for security.

The Mercury has reported that Rindel hired architect Minenhle Makhanya for the Nkandla project. The Special Investigating Unit has gone to court to try to claim R155m back from Makhanya.

Victory for press freedom

Meanwhile, The Witness and Beeld newspapers on Tuesday scored a victory for press freedom after "ambushing" the Nkandla disciplinary hearings, The Witness reported.

The newspapers' lawyers applied for press access on several grounds, including the Constitutional right to free expression. Despite objections from the State that the hearing would deal with private contracts and was a closed proceeding, hearing chairperson Joe Nxusani consulted the Constitution and ruled that freedom of expression was a primary right and it was appropriate that the application was granted.

The media has been granted access to 12 other disciplinary hearings against civil servants relating to the Nkandla project. Experts say this sets a precedent for other internal government hearings.

Sapa and The Witness

Read more on:    department of public works  |  jacob zuma  |  durban  |  nkandla upgrade  |  media  |  government spending

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