Nkandla architect gets access to Zuma’s private documents

2014-09-28 13:17

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Cape Town - Lawyers representing President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla architect Minenhle Makhanya have been granted read-only access to his confidential submission to the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

According to the Sunday Independent, the full picture of contractors who benefited from the R246m upgrade is now starting to emerge.

Makhanya, who has been slapped with a R155m bill by the SIU, is accused of inflating the cost of Zuma’s security upgrade.

According to Makhanya’s lawyers, they had identified at least 16 companies that had also been involved.

They said they want these companies to join them in their bid to extricate Makhanya from the lawsuit but that some of the companies had either folded or their directors could not be traced.

Two contractors in particular that Makhanya wants included are Thandeka Nene and Pamela Mfeka, who made R80m and R60m respectively out of Nkandla. But the Sunday Independent says it is not clear at this stage whether the State will focus all its attention on Makhanya alone or if other parties will be included.
Join forces

As reported recently by News24, Makhanya, invited others implicated in the project to join legal forces.
This came ahead of his lawyers filing notice in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court demanding that all additional documents being used in the civil court action against him be handed over.

The SIU is suing Pinetown-based Makhanya - who netted R17m in architect fees for designing and driving the state-financed R246m splurge on Zuma's private Nkandla home - to recover the funds he allegedly plundered from the department of public works (DPW).

However, according to a SIU report handed to Parliament recently that probed the multi-million-rand Nkandla upgrade, such were the perceived secrecy levels surrounding the development that key documents were “destroyed” while no minutes of any meetings exist.
IU sleuths admitted senior officials, contractors and consultants delivered contradictory versions on key facts and state officials may have deliberately tried to delay their investigation and withhold evidence. By the SIU’s own admission, several key documents could not be found.

The report said no "serious" recordings of any meetings discussing Project Prestige A - the code name for the household and security upgrades - were “singularly helpful” to the SIU.

Makhanya's lawyer Barnabas Xulu said before any court proceedings could begin, his client would still seek the right to speak”.

"Makhanya was required to sign several non-disclosure documents concerning the Nkandla upgrade. First we need to locate these documents and have them wavered before [proceeding]. From what we understand he could face criminal prosecution otherwise," said Xulu.

Xulu, a prominent Western Cape lawyer who once administered The Friends of Jacob Zuma Trust and represented troubled Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe, said a notice would be served by Friday to allow others implicated in the report to join Makhanya in the defence.

"It will depend on the other parties and [where they find similarities]. We still have a long process ahead," said Xulu.
Read more on:    siu  |  jacob zuma  |  minenhle makhanya  |  nkandla upgrade

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