Ernest Wolmarans
1 minute read
5 Sep 2014
1:53 pm

Nkandla architect to be investigated

Ernest Wolmarans

The South African Council for for the Architectural Profession (Sacap) has resolved to launch an investigation into the conduct of President Jacob Zuma's personal architect, Minenhle Makhanya during the Nkandla upgrades.

President Jacob Zuma's residence in Nkandla in KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday, 4 November 2012 as seen from the road that was blocked by ANC supporters, who did not want Democratic Alliance leader Helen Zille to inspect Zuma's homestead. Picture: Giordano Stolley/SAPA

In a statement released late on Thursday the council said it had considered, in principle, Makhanya’s alleged role in the Nkandla saga “as highlighted in the Special Investigating Unit’s (SIU) report of its investigation”.

This follows the SIU’s claim against Makhanya to have him pay back more than R155 million – paid to him by the Department of Public Works for the upgrades at Zuma’s KwaZulu-Natal homestead.

The SIU alleged that the money was paid to contractors who either overcharged or did not complete the work they were paid for.

In terms of Section 28(1) of the Architectural Profession Act, Sacap is empowered to refer any matter against a registered member to its investigating committee, “where it believes it has reasonable grounds to suspect that a registered person has committed an act which may render him or her guilty of improper conduct.”

Sacap said that it would then draft a formal report based on its findings and make recommendations to the council.

A possible outcome was that Makhanya then appear before a disciplinary tribunal, but Bolton stressed that Sacap was in no position to speculate until the committee’s investigation was complete.

“Given that the investigation will be comprehensive, it is likely to take some time,” Sacap said.

Possible sanctions Makhanya faces if found guilty of charges brought against him by the tribunal range from a mere warning, to a fine, to cancellation of Makhanya’s Sacap registration and the removal of his name from the relevant register.

Sacap, at the same meeting, also referred the Tongaat Mall and Meyersdal house, in 2013 and 2014 respectively, to its investigating committee “in relation to the roles which may respectively have been played by any architectural professionals registered with Sacap”.

The same process would be followed in these investigations, Sacap said.