Nkandla: ‘Heads must roll for inflation of prices, shoddy workmanship’

2015-07-22 16:40
(Nasief Manie, City Press)

(Nasief Manie, City Press)

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The individuals responsible for inflating the costs of upgrading security at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla home must be held responsible for their actions and face criminal prosecution, according to Cedric Frolick, the chair of Parliament’s ad hoc committee tasked with probing the Nkandlagate scandal. 

Frolick, an ANC MP, made these comments outside the head of state’s homestead today at the end of the committee’s short visit to the complex to assess the work done as part of considering Police Minister Nathi Nhleko’s report. Nhleko had found that the taxpayer, and not Zuma, should be responsible for the cost of the fire pool, cattle kraal and other installations built as part of the upgrade. 

Work on the security upgrade, Frolick said, had not been completed and as a result the president was not secure when staying at his home. 

Public works had a “lot to answer for” in allowing the costs of the upgrade to escalate because the work had “clearly” not been completed and was “very shoddy”. 

He said the visit was “quite an eye opener”, that the committee had seen “gross inflation” of prices and that the facilities that had been built were worth nowhere near what had been paid. 

It was clear to the committee that “the president is not secure in comfort” and that more expenditure was likely to ensure that the security upgrade was completed. Frolick would not, however, provide detail. 

There were “serious concerns” that required “serious attention”, he said. 

The 11-member committee did not enter Zuma’s house but were given a demonstration of the fire pool, which Frolick described as a “recreational facility”. 

“A pool is a pool,” he said. “What we saw in front of us was a pool.” 

Frolick also appeared to buy Nhleko’s argument that the amphitheatre in the complex was merely a gathering area for evacuation. 

“I didn’t seen an amphitheatre. My idea of an amphitheatre is something much larger in scale,” he said. 

Frolick added that the individual committee members were likely to have their own ideas about the facilities and that these would be discussed on Thursday and Friday. 

The massive media contingent on site was given a brief tour of the 21 South African Police Service and South African National Defence Force houses attached to the presidential complex. The houses were built at a cost of more than R120 million. 

The police houses, which City Press inspected, consist of a single room each with en suite bathroom and a kitchen attached. Most were unoccupied and unfurnished, although one had a pile of mattresses inside. The entrances to several were littered with goat droppings and the animals roamed freely in the complex, sheltering in the entrances to the units to avoid the pouring rain. 

Journalists and photographers were also given access to the helipad and clinic, both of which were “not part of the presidential complex” according to the defence force’s General Siphiwe Shezi. 

Shezi claimed that the clinic had been meant for use by the public, military personnel and visiting dignitaries, as well as the president and his family.

Read more on:    cedric frolick  |  nkandla  |  nkandlagate  |  nkandla upgrade

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