Nkandla upgrade necessary - Radebe

2014-03-19 19:47
Nkandla (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

Nkandla (Giordano Stolley, Sapa)

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Pretoria - All measures recommended by the security cluster and implemented by the public works department to President Jacob Zuma's private home in Nkandla were necessary security upgrades, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe said on Wednesday.

"The retaining wall, cattle kraal and culvert, fire pool and water reservoir, accommodation for security personnel and visitors waiting are all essential security features which ensures physical security and effective operation of security equipment," he told reporters in Pretoria.

"These are critical in the delivery of security services to the president timeously."

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, however, found that Zuma and his family had benefited unduly from the upgrades.

She released her final report on her probe into the matter in Pretoria.

"It is common cause that in the name of security, government built for the president and his family in his private [home], a visitors centre, cattle kraal and chicken run, swimming pool, and amphitheatre among others," says the report titled "Secure in Comfort".

"The president and his family clearly benefited from this."

Madonsela recommended that Zuma pay back a percentage of the cost for these measures which were not related to security.

Radebe said Madonsela's report had confirmed the essential findings of government's own investigation into Nkandla.

"We note and welcome that the report is categorical in stating that no public funds were used in building the private residence of the president.

"We further note and welcome that the project was poorly managed and we also welcome the finding that there was no political interference," he said.

Radebe on Wednesday was accompanied by Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, State Security Minister Siyabonga Cwele and Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa.

‘Maladministration, corruption’

Radebe said in the execution of the Nkandla project there were elements of maladministration, corruption and inefficiencies.

These included the flouting of supply chain management prescripts, the Public Management Act, the Cabinet Policy of 2003 and collusion between officials and suppliers.

According to Parliament the public protector's investigation was conducted on the basis of the Executive Member's Ethics Act 82 of 1998.

In terms of this Act, and per the public protector's pronouncement, Zuma had to, within a reasonable time but not later than 14 days submit a copy of the report to the National Assembly.

Such a report must, in terms of the Act, contain the president's comments together with any action taken or to be taken in regard to the report.

The National Assembly is still waiting for a copy of the report.

Radebe said government had already undertaken a number of measures related to Nkandla.

These included Zuma directing the Special Investigative Unit to investigate any criminal acts committed during the implementation of the security upgrades.

The public works department had developed a revised policy, and norms and standards, for the management and control of particular prestige projects.

It had also finalised cost apportionment of the project, for recovery of funds, from the SA Police Service and the defence department.

"The release of the [report]... will afford government the opportunity to determine the extent to which its findings and those of the government report are congruent and we will obviously follow due and rigorous process," Radebe said.

"We re-affirm our aggressive stance that law enforcement agencies should leave no stone unturned in its investigative process which is at an advanced stage."

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Read more on:    jeff radebe  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  pretoria  |  parliament 2014  |  nkandla upgrade

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