Taxpayers responsible for Nkandla maintenance

Taxpayers will continue to fork out for the maintenance of security installations at President Jacob Zuma’s private Nkandla home, but he will foot the bill for any work done on his private home, the department of public works has said.

Phillip Masilo, adviser to Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi, yesterday refuted claims by the Public Service Association (PSA), representing 11 officials charged with the irregular Nkandla spending, that the department asked the same officials to draw up a plan to fix the perimeter fence, which was damaged last month.

Masilo also rebutted the PSA’s claim that a cracked wall and windows also had to be fixed with the fence last month after the Sunday Times reported damage to the fence.

PSA labour officer Roshan Lil-Ruthan told City Press that when news of the broken fence emerged last month, the department approached some of the officials to draw up a plan to fix a cracked wall and cracked windows and the fence.

He said this was a sign that the department still trusted his clients who are still at work, as they have not been suspended. The PSA is using this fact to argue in mitigation of their clients who are undergoing disciplinary hearings.

But Masilo told City Press that the maintenance of all security installations, including the clinic and the guard houses, was the responsibility of the department.

“We fixed the fence after a car apparently backed into the fence. Many of the installations are still under warranty and we call the companies responsible for installing them to fix them if they are broken.”

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