Minister must explain R203m Zuma upgrade – Cosatu watchdog

2012-10-05 11:11

Cosatu’s anti-graft watchdog, Corruption Watch, wants Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi to explain the R203-million upgrade of President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla homestead.

The watchdog wants Nxesi to explain the discrepancy between the R100 000 the Ministerial Handbook permits as the maximum amount of money that can be spent on the president’s security arrangements, and the R202.9-million government is spending on Zuma’s sprawling rural home.

The organisation also wants to know how the money will be used, and wants the government to provide answers by next Friday.

Nxesi has reportedly suggested that the leaking of the documents about the multi-million revamp was related to the ANC’s power struggle ahead of the party’s elective conference in Mangaung.

He has since ordered an investigation to ferret out the source of the leak.

Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis said the organisation was asking questions because it wanted ministers in government to account for their actions.

“We want him to explain his decisions as the minister concerned. We want leaders in the public and private sector to account for the use of public resources,” he said.

Here is the list of questions Corruption Watch has sent to Nxesi:
» Has your department indeed approved the R203-million upgrade of the Nkandla homestead?

» If so, when and under what authority?

» Is the president’s Nkandla homestead designated a national key point under the National Key Points Act?

» If so, when did such designation take place?

» To your knowledge, was the budget for the upgrading of the Nkandla homestead approved by the Defence Ministry in line with the National Key Points Act?

» Does Annexure E of the Ministerial Handbook set limits on the amount that can be spent on security upgrades of the private residences of Cabinet members?

» If so, what is the amount?

» Is the Special Account for the Safeguarding of National Key Points (established under the National Key Points Act) being used to fund the Nkandla homestead?

» If so, how much of the account is being used?

Nxesi’s spokesperson Sabelo Mali said the department would respond to all questions about the controversial revamp this afternoon.

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