NFP MP Professor Nhlanhla Khubisa insisted that Zuma should shoulder some of the blame for the debacle in which millions of rands were wasted. This statement came as the meeting of the parliamentary ad hoc committee on Nkandla continued at the KZN Legislature after a visit by committee members on Wednesday.
Khubisa told the meeting that Zuma had implicated himself when he recommended that his personal architect, Minenhle Makhanya, should be part of the upgrade projects.
“It is too early to exonerate Zuma, because he is the one that said here is the man with expertise and that leaves us in grey area,” he said.
However, African National Congress MP Lindiwe Maseko defended Makhanya’s appointment and shifted the blame to public works department officials.
“It was probably the laziness on the part of public works because the president did not say ‘make him (Makhanya) the project manager’ – he simply introduced him to the team,” she told members attending the meeting.
Committee chairperson Cedric Frolick indicated that he would like to see finality on the matter by the end of Thursday.
The visit by MPs to Zuma’s controversial Nkandla home revealed poor workmanship and a lack of proper security features in spite of the R246 million price tag of upgrades, Democratic Alliance MP James Selfe said on Wednesday.
“They are a long way of from what they set out to achieve in terms of surveillance and so forth,” Selfe told ANA after a tour led by high-ranking officials from the policy ministry.
The issue is a contentious one because both the Special Investigating Unit and Police Minister Nathi Nhleko have said that despite the cost of the project, its aim of securing the president’s private home had not been met and would require further work and expenditure.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, who found that Zuma had unduly benefitted from the project and should reimburse the State for luxuries added to his home, had held otherwise.