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Frolick: “Nkandla upgrades inflated and carried out poorly”

Frolick: “Nkandla upgrades inflated and carried out poorly”

Nkandla ad-hoc committee Chairperson, Cedric Frolick, has hit out at the Department of Public Works after describing the security upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s private homestead, as “truly shocking”.

Addressing the media following yesterday’s Parliamentary oversight visit to Nkandla, Frolick stated that the total costs had been “grossly inflated” while the quality of workmanship raises serious questions as to what the money was actually used for.

According to reports, 21 two-bedroom South African National Defence Force houses, located just off the main property and worth R135-million, contained no furniture and had never been occupied while a clinic, which had been part of the original investigation, stood empty.

“What I have seen there today is not worth the R200 plus million that has been claimed to be spent. The Department of Public Works has a lot of explaining to do,” Frolick said.

“The facilities for police and army were never formally handed over. We've been told police protection services are not using them. In the meantime, it is being used as police barracks.

“We were also shocked with the workmanship of the clinic. You can clearly see people did not pay attention to the provisions that were there. At the moment, I would say that facility requires a lot of work because it is clearly visible that money has been wasted”.

Commenting on the controversial fire pool, Frolick said it could also be used a recreational facility as well as a tool to fight fires.

“What we saw in front of us is a pool. A pool is a pool. It is all that it is being utilised for. [Police] Minister [Nathi Nhleko] said it’s primarily for fighting fires, but it is also a recreational facility,” he said, adding that his own constituency office “was four times bigger” than the visitors centre.

In tabling his findings two months ago, Nhleko stated that Zuma could not be expected to pay back a portion of the reported R246-million spent on the upgrades, as the additions of a private cinema, cattle kraal, chicken coop and the aforementioned pool, were all essential security items.

He also added that the various investigations had seriously comprised Zuma’s safety and that a re-evaluation is needed for additional protection and the finishing of certain features left uncompleted.

“The president is not secured in comfort in Nkandla and there is a serious concern as articulated by the Special Investigations Units that the security cluster will need to pay urgent attention,” Frolick said.