Nhleko stands by Nkandla report, dares detractors to disprove it with facts

2015-06-30 16:16
(Joe Stolley, News24)

(Joe Stolley, News24)

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Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has vowed to defend his findings that President Jacob Zuma owes nothing for the security upgrades at his Nkandla residence. 

He said that only Parliament – to which he is accountable – and not the Public Protector could question his report. 

Nhleko told reporters in Pretoria today that Zuma’s security would be re-evaluated to determine whether the exposure of sensitive security installations at Nkandla, through government’s various efforts to clarify the spending, had not placed Zuma’s security at risk. 

A month after releasing the South African Police Service report on the Nkandla spending, Nhleko today revealed that he wanted to know who authorised the construction of 21 guard houses to be built. They cost R135 million.

The guard houses were not being used by either the police service or the South African National Defence Force because they were constructed too far from Zuma’s main homestead. This had forced police members to live in makeshift homes. 

Nhleko would not elaborate on why he did not know who gave the go-ahead for the houses to be built. 

Nhleko was briefing the media on the outcome of his report after weeks of public criticism about its authenticity. 

He challenged anyone who rejected the findings to do so by reflecting on facts related to the Nkandla security upgrades. He insisted that some politicians and the media had wrongly reported that the Nkandla upgrades cost R246 million, and said that the work cost R216 million. 

Nhleko said Public Protector Thuli Madonsela – who labelled the minister’s report as being riddled with “misstatements, inaccuracies, incomplete information and innuendos” – had a right to disagree with his findings but he stood by them. 

“Anybody has the liberty to see it [the report] in any way he or she deems fit ... If you disagree [with it], it’s fine. I accept that. But then get into the detail and content in terms of how you disprove what I’ve just put across. 

“What I’ve put before you is something that says here are the origins of this issue and what the thinking was from a security point of view. If you know any other thinking other than that, that’s what you need to come forward with,” said Nhleko. 

He said his report was not meant to be a “review” of Madonsela’s report, which found that Zuma benefited from and should reimburse the state for some of the security upgrades. 

Nhleko’s report came about after Zuma asked him to determine if he owed any money and, if so, how much he should pay back. 

He added that work that was incomplete would soon be completed and reiterated that the “fire pool”, chicken run, cattle culvert, visitors’ centre and amphitheatre were considered security installations.

Read more on:    nathi nhleko  |  nkandla upgrade

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