Nkandla spending was ‘hidden’

Evidence of large-scale misappropriation in the Nkandla construction project was hidden from the Auditor-General.

That was why, over three years, the Auditor-General did not pick up on the R246 million spent on so-called security upgrades at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla homestead in rural KwaZulu-Natal, Beeld reported today.

This was revealed by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu yesterday in his response to a question at the release at Parliament of the latest audit outcomes for national and provincial departments.

Read: Key state departments can’t account for spending

“If you go back to our audit reports for the department of public works during these years you will see that we said we could not deliver an audit opinion because we could not get access to all the necessary documents,” he was quoted as saying.

“It was not an easy task for us to do the audit because the documents were classified and it was not easy for us to do a normal audit.”

Makwetu had been asked why the Auditor-General never raised the alarm over the Nkandla spending.

The public works department took steps against officials involved in the project only this year after the Public Protector and Special Investigating Unit found that rules and regulations were contravened and more than R155 million was overspent.

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