South Africa 23.7.2015 03:38 pm

Zuma not safe in Nkandla: MPs

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

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

Despite the more than R200 million purportedly spent on beefing up security at President Jacob Zuma’s Nkandla private home the President’s life was still at risk, members of Parliament’s Nkandla Ad hoc committee said yesterday.

“There is no security at all in that complex. In fact police guards at the homestead told us some people walked in and stole fire hoses in the complex – which shows you that there is no security at all in the complex,” Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) MP, Narend Singh, said.

Singh was speaking during the Ad hoc committee’s sitting in the Pietermaritzburg provincial legislature following its Wednesday’s over-night visit on the homestead.

The majority of the MPs had described what they saw at the homestead, including a tiny reception area which contractors had passed off as a visiting center costing more than R3 million to build, as shocking.

Police minister, Nathi Nhleko, who briefed the committee prior to its departure for Nkandla, had stated that security features worth R50 million had been installed in the homestead.

However, the MPs are disputing Nhleko’s calculations.

“If you walk into the President’s homestead, you don’t see the R50 million, United Democratic Movement (UDM) MP, Nqabayomzi Nkwankwa, said.

ANC MP, Vincent Smith, said the shoddy workmanship accompanied by the inflating of costs in the Nkandla security upgrade project, clearly demonstrated that little attempts were made to comply with relevant legislation during the construction.

“Clearly, there has been a flouting of supply chain management and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) he said.

Costs in the Nkandla project – initially projected below R30 million, had ballooned to R246 million by the end of the project.

However, Nhleko, who put the total costs at R206 million, had maintained that the actual security costs were R50 million, with an additional R20 million being on consultancy fees.

The bulk of the costs – R135 million, Nhleko said, were for the 21 houses built outside the complex to accommodate members of the SA Police Service as well as those of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF).

“Lets tell the South African public that the President’s private homestead was not R246 million,” ANC MP Vincent Smith, said.

However, opposition MPs disagreed, accusing ANC MPs of trying to distance Zuma from the R135 million living quarters.

“If he is innocent on this one, then it is scary to imagine how he runs the country if he is not aware of what is happening on his own door step,” Agang SA MP, Andries Tlonamma, said.

 

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