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Minister questions Public Protector’s determination of Nkandla upgrading costs

Minister questions Public Protector’s determination of Nkandla upgrading costs

Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has reportedly denounced Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings that the upgrades to President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla, home amounted to R246-million.

Presenting his findings to government’s ad-hoc committee on Nkandla in the Pietermaritzburg legislature earlier today, Nhleko stated that just over R50-million was spent on the upgrading of security features, while another R135-million was allocated for the completion of houses for security personal on the outskirts of the property.

“I think I said it from the beginning… I do not know where the R246 million comes from and I can only talk about figures with a point of reference to issues of authority,” Eyewitness News quoted him saying.

Repeating a previous point from his original findings in May, which cleared Zuma of paying back a portion of the money spent as recommended in Madonsela’s Secure in Comfort report, Nhleko said a re-evaluation of the various security features needs to be conducted as the number of investigations had led to Zuma’s safety being compromised.

“The security experts must go back to assess the extent of the vulnerability and how the president has been exposed. We won't know how much it will cost before this exercise is done. But [with] the security issue, we will arrive at a different conclusion because of the re-evaluation,” he said.

Democratic Alliance (DA) Chief Whip, John Steenhuisen, has however accused Nhleko him of “serving the pleasure of the President”, saying the addition of a swimming pool, referred to as a fire pool, was for recreational purposes and had nothing to do with a fire risk as claimed.