All Nkandla documents called it a 'swimming pool' - Madonsela

2015-08-03 14:57
Thuli Madonsela (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

Thuli Madonsela (Genevieve Quintal, News24)

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Pretoria - Documents and minutes of meetings refer to the pool at President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead as a "swimming pool" and not a "firepool", Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said on Monday. 

"A simple reading of the Secure in Comfort [her Nkandla] report would show that it was the task team which installed the items [for the upgrades to Zuma's home] and named them," she said at the media briefing in Pretoria. 

"Such names appear in the architectural designs, minutes, memos and documents.

"In the minutes and documents, the swimming pool is referred to as a swimming pool."

She said the minutes did have a request from the presidency for a conversion and it was later converted, and there was an amount to be paid by the owner for the conversion. 

She also dealt with the amphitheatre and kraal, saying Zuma never denied asking for a larger kraal. 

"He has further never denied stating that this was one thing he was prepared to pay for," Madonsela said. 

"My determination that it was not a security feature was because it was not on the list... which guided the upgrading of the security of homes of presidents and former presidents."

She said the problems with the visitor centre was not its size and its opulence, but rather the necessity to procure it and the authority to procure it. 

"It was not listed by the authorised security experts after a threat assessment [was done].

"It was an item requested by Presidency in the minutes."

'I am deeply saddened'

She said that during an in loco inspection, it was found that there was an unused building that could have done the same job.

Madonsela was addressing the National Assembly Speaker and MPs through the media at the briefing, as she was not invited to address Parliament on her Nkandla report.

"I am deeply saddened that I have to use the media as a platform to address you," she said. 

"I'm further convinced, honourable Speaker, that this mechanism of engagement was not envisaged by the architects of our Constitution.

"I chose this platform to advise you on Constitutional requirements of the Public Protector... and respond to utterances my office views as misinformation about my report."

Her report found that Zuma had to pay back a portion of the money used for non-security upgrades to his homestead as he unduly benefited from them. 

Read more on:    public protector  |  jacob zuma  |  thuli madonsela  |  nkandla
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