Nkandla: ‘Truth behind truth’

2014-08-14 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Nkandla’s project manager hopes the “real truth” will emerge when the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) completes its Nkandla investigation.

Jean Rindel, project manager at the Durban regional office of the Department of Public Works (DPW), was tasked with implementing the security improvements to President Jacob Zuma’s private estate at Nkandla.

The Public Protectors report on Nkandla refers 106 times to Rindel and his name is also in the court papers in which the SIU has filed a civil claim Minenhle Ma­khanya — Zuma’s “personal architect” — to ­recoup R155,3 million.

Rindel yesterday told sister paper Beeld he had given his full co-operation to the SIU during its probe of Nkandla.

“I know the story behind the story,” he said. But he did not want to say what the “real truth” is concerning Nkandla.

Rindel has appointed Makhanya as the main agent over Nkandla in 2009, acting on behalf of the director general of Public Works. The SIU said this appointment was illegal, invalid and contrary to Public Work’s tender regulations.

The SIU’s court papers read that Ma­khanya’s appointment was done on the request of Rindel and/or the then acting director general of DPW, Solly Malebye, and both knew or had to know Makhanya’s name was not on the department’s list of registered service providers.

The SIU stated Rindel and Malebye knew or had to know their motivation on its own did not constitute a reason to depart from the tender procedures.

The SIU said the civil claim against Makhanya is the first in the Nkandla affair and more civil claims, as well as criminal charges, may follow.

Rindel said he was not aware of any prosecution involving him. “I do not know if I will be charged. I am waiting to hear.”

He did not want to say whose decision it was to appoint Makhanya as the main agent and whether the order had come from Zuma.

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