Nkandla: Zuma's response in a nutshell

By Drum Digital
15 August 2014

Parliamentary Speaker Baleka Mbete’s office has received President Jacob Zuma’s report on the state-funded upgrades of his private residence in Nkandla.

Zuma’s report suggests that the president is not taking any personal responsibility for the escalation of the costs of what were supposed to be security upgrades from about R27 million to R250 million. Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's findings were that he unduly benefitted from some of the upgrades to his homestead.

Madonsela recommended that Zuma should refund the state a "reasonable" portion of the money spent on Zuma's non-security items such as the swimming pool and the chicken run, and that he should report to Parliament on the remedial steps to be taken.

In a nutshell, here is what the report says:

*The Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) probe suggests that “there may have been undue interference by the former minister of public works (Geoff Doidge) and the former deputy minister (Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu) in the appointment of certain contractors, suppliers or service providers.”

* Nineteen employees  in the public works department could face being disciplined

*The SIU will hand dockets to the National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana  to  bring to book those suspected of committing criminal offences

*Moves are afoot to bring civil claims against some contractors, suppliers and service providers

Zuma has recommended that:

*Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko should decide whether Zuma should fork out any money for the upgrades “having regard to the legislation, past practices, culture and findings contained” in the reports from the probes of the Public protector, the SIU and the Joint Standing Committee on  Intelligence”. He’ll report to cabinet from time to time about the progress he is making.

*Nhleko should speed up the review of the National Key Points Act, and keep cabinet in the loop about the progress he is making on that score.

*Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi should  “report to Cabinet on the review of protocols and procedures regarding procurement, expenditure and oversight applicable to prestige and related projects”.  (Nkandla is an example of a “prestige project”).

* Nxesi and security cluster minister should spell out their roles and duties when dealing with the security of past and present presidents and their deputies

*Cabinet  will review the bits in the 2003 Cabinet Policy dealing with the safety of past and present presidents and their deputies, with the aim of setting a ceiling on the costs.

Parliament is expected to set up an ad hoc committee in due course to deal with the Nkandla matter.

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