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‘Nkandlagate’ Landscaping Budget Noted as R 14.3 million

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06-Jul-2013 0:39
‘Nkandlagate’ is back in the spotlight after documents detailing the planning, preparation and budget of the renovations to President Zuma’s home in Nkandla surfaced. – image - www.sabc.co.za

‘Nkandlagate’ is back in the spotlight after documents detailing the planning, preparation and budget of the renovations to President Zuma’s home in Nkandla surfaced. – image – www.sabc.co.za

The ‘Nkandlagate’ plot thickens. On Friday, the Mail and Guardian took a bold decision and published documents which tell the ‘behind-the-scenes’ version of events leading up to the scandal now known as ‘Nkandlagate’. The documents were obtained by the investigative wing of the Mail and Guardian called ‘AmaBhungane’. These papers read like a thriller with secret meetings and intriguing twists to the tale of President Jacob Zuma’s home in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal.

It is reported that the Department of Public Works decided to foot the bill for the renovations to the president’s home including paying for upgrades that were not in any way related to security. The budget for landscaping alone was set at R 14.3 million which saw to the president’s need for a tree nursery on his compound. The renovations make provision for a kraal for livestock which took a R 1 million rand chunk out of the budget estimated to be around R 200 million. President Jacob Zuma has the option to use elevators in his home and because open windows are a security hazard, the renovations also include an extensive air-conditioning system.


At first, the contractors who submitted their bids for this massive project were not given any information about the client and the exact location of the project. And when they were eventually made privy to this information, they were sworn to secrecy by means of secrecy oaths that were signed before each meeting relating to the renovations.

The Nkandla project has been categorized as a “prestige project” which means that the manner in which it is handled may be outside the norm in order to “ensure security”. The Mail and Guardian managed to get access to a confidential memo written by Kenneth Khanyile who is the Public Works Department Durban Regional Manager. The memo is addressed to seniors in his department and it is dated 15 March 2012.

It was in this memo that Khanyile proposed “that the project be removed from the public eye due to security reasons”. Khanyile was extremely concerned about how the opposition and journalists would interpret and use information about the project. He feared that there might be information which may be useful to “enemies of the state to render an attack”. Kenneth Khanyile said: “These projects are further targeted by journalists in an attempt to discredit the government in general.”

In the memo, Khanyile basically outlines how to go about ensuring secrecy throughout the project. Of particular interest is that Khanyile clearly states that his office would not submit any of the project details for “auditing until clear directive has been received”.

Thuli Madonsela, the Public Protector, has received the official report on the renovations at Zuma’s Nkandla home. Security is high on her priority list too. She said that she would release the report once she had reviewed it and removed certain information that may jeopardize the security of those mentioned in it.

 

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3 Comments

  1.  Sam van den Berg
     Jul 6, 2013 at 7:20 am

    Apart from anything else, what makes the zumanoids think that Zuma could possibly be a serious target? Do they have security measures at Disneyworld to protect Mickey Mouse? Did anyone ever attempt to assassinate Mary Poppins? Zuma might not be a very nice hman being, but does anyone seriously believe that this lazy fellow could direct or manage anything? Nkandla’s security has in any case been blown — it’s now the most well-known place in South Africa. The real threat comes from the shadowy figures that installed a ringer in the presidency and allowed him, by degrees, to become our entire focus. Who are they? What are they planning? Why do they seem to be sanguine about the ANC falling apart under the Ringer? Or is there really no one in there? Is Zuma really the whole thing? The vacuum in the vacuum?

  2.  winifred ann watson
     Jul 6, 2013 at 9:34 am

    I think that the whole security thing at Nkandla gives zuma the sense of security to sleep at night. Its like a baby feeling secure by having its favourite toy tucked in next to him. If anybody wanted to get into Nkandla, they would, after all the hoo haa we just about know every nook and cranny in his compound. So how does that make it secure, no it is merely a comfort feeling for old zuma. I bet you anything that this Nkandla project is merely a tip of the iceberg, should we have the privilege to dig deeper, we would all get a shock to see how much they have actually looted. Does Zuma feel guilty, not to me he looks very arrogant about it. Should he ever leave office, are we going to continue to pay for his private clinic, helicopter pad and all the blings that money can buy. Who is going to pay to maintain all of this after he goes, or is this his statement that he is NEVER going to budge, remember he said the ANC will rule till jesus comes. So, that must mean we are in for a lot more upkeep etc at Nkandla. What else do the zuma family all want to themselves. Its a wonderful life, when you have people falling all over you to pay for wives secondary houses, buy them jewellery, in return are well rewarded with tender sharing. Start looking at the photos of arrogance, can anybody see the likeness.

  3.  tzME
     Jul 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    My disgust knows no bounds!

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