Date set for first Nkandla disciplinary hearing

2014-10-01 21:05
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

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Durban - The first disciplinary hearing against public works department officials allegedly implicated in wrongdoing in upgrades to President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla home will take place in late October.

The first hearing would commence on 27 October, Phillip Masilo, special legal adviser to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, said on Wednesday.

While permission had been granted for the media to be present at the hearing of senior project manager Jean Rindel, Masilo said the media would have to seek permission for the hearings of each of the 12 employees.

On Tuesday, permission was granted for the media to attend Rindel's hearing, following an application by the Witness newspaper.

"We want to protect the workers. My understanding is that the employee [Rindel] wanted the media. It is not a blanket permission. The media must make an application before the chairperson [of the disciplinary hearing] for each employee."

Rindel's hearing was postponed to the beginning of December.

The 12 face charges related to the R246m upgrades to Zuma's private Nkandla homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

Public Servants Association labour relations officer Roshan Lil-Ruthan, who is representing Rindel and a number of others, told Sapa on Tuesday the charges against Rindel include procurement misconduct, project management misconduct, and supply chain management violations.

Lil-Ruthan said the others faced similar charges.

All the accused are either involved in project management for the department or are members of the department's regional bid adjudication committee.

According to The Mercury, Rindel is named in both the Special Investigating Unit's (SIU) and the public protector's reports as having hired Zuma's architect Minenhle Makhanya.

The SIU found Zuma was enriched by state-funded improvements to his home, but placed the blame for the project ballooning into "unacceptable extravagance" on Makhanya.

The SIU filed a civil claim for R155.3m against Makhanya in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court in Pietermaritzburg on 11 August.

He has hired lawyers to contest the matter.

Read more on:    thulas nxesi  |  jacob zuma  |  pietermaritzburg  |  nkandla upgrade

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